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Volleyball Eagles Earn A Pair of Sweeps in the Bama Bash

Sept. 4, 2015

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Southern Miss volleyball team won a pair of matches in the Bama Bash Volleyball Tournament, sweeping College of Charleston 3-0 (25-0, 25-19, 25-23) Friday morning and concluding the day with a sweep of Northwestern State 3-0 (25-23, 25-25, 25-16).

Southern Miss improved to 6-0 while CofC dropped to 1-3 and Northwestern State to 2-4.

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Junior Stephany Purdue recorded a team-best 18 kills in leading Southern Miss past College of Charleston in the first match of the Bama Bash. Senior Libero Mary Pursell paced the team with 14 digs while Sarah Bell handed out 31 assists. The Golden Eagles finished with 45 kills on .254 hitting, 45 digs and 9.0 team blocks while CofC had 32 kills on .101 hitting, 41 digs and 5.0 team blocks.

After the teams traded points for the first six points, Southern Miss then went on a 6-0 run in pushing its lead to 9-3. The Golden Eagles added another 5-0 run in taking a 10-point advantage at 14-4. The teams traded points before Shelby Russell served four straight points that allowed the Black and Gold to push the score to 19-10. The teams played evenly down the stretch as Southern Miss took the first set 25-18. The Golden Eagles out hit CofC .406 to .028.

The Cougars ran out to a 6-1 lead to start the second set. Southern Miss regrouped and scored nine of the next 12 points in battling to a 9-9 tie. Bell and Purdue followed with a pair of kills to put the Eagles ahead 11-9. With the momentum in the Golden Eagles' favor, Southern Miss ended the set with a 14-10 run. Russell ended the set with an ace.

The teams battled back and forth through the first 16 points. Southern Miss forged ahead with a pair of points, but CofC came right back to tie the set at 11-11. Southern Miss scored four of the next five points, forcing CofC to take a timeout. From there, the team squads battled back and forth until the Eagles added a pair of points to extend their lead to 20-17. College of Charleston did not go quietly, as the Cougars rallied to tie the set at 23-23 using 6-3 run. The matched ended when the official awarded a point to the Golden Eagles and a CofC had an error for the 25-23 Eagle win.

Melissa Morello led the Cougars with 11 kills.

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Against Northwestern State, Purdue and Kylie Grandy tallied 13 and 11 kills, respectively as Southern Miss swept the Lady Demons 3-0. Bell added a double-double with 25 assists and 10 digs. Pursell also had 12 digs. Purdue had 13 digs for her third double-double of the season.

The Golden Eagles finished with 30 kills on a .267 hitting clip to go with 54 digs and 4.0 team blocks and three aces.

Southern Miss scored six of the first seven points to start the first set. Northwestern State regrouped and started to chip away at the Golden Eagle lead. The teams evenly battled to an 18-18 tie. Southern Miss got back-to-back kills from Grandy for the 20-18 lead. Northwestern Stat tied the set at 21-21, but the Black and Gold bounced back to score two points and take the 23-21 lead. After Northwestern State cut the lead to 23-22, the Golden Eagles scored two of the final three points for the 25-23 win.

After trading points to start the second set, Southern Miss then used a 6-0 run for a 9-4 lead. The Golden Eagles led by as many as 13-5 before the Lady Demons used a 9-4 run to cut the lead to 17-13. From there, Southern Miss outscored Northwestern 8-2 in closing out the set for a 25-15 win.

Southern Miss took a 4-0 lead and never looked back to start the third set. With the Golden Eagles leading 14-8, the Demons called a timeout, but Southern Miss continued to add points to its total. Northwestern State cut the lead to five, 21-16, but Southern Miss ended the set scoring the final four points for the 25-16 win.

Lauren Agan led College of Charleston with nine kills.

Southern Miss will take on the host Alabama in a 9 a.m. match Saturday before closing out the tournament against Tulsa at 2 p.m.

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