| Box Score
ARLINGTON, Texas - The Southern Miss volleyball team fell to Northwestern State in three games by a score of 25-23, 25-20, 25-23 in the opening match of the Hilton Classic Friday.
The Golden Eagles drop to 1-6 while NSU improved to 3-4.
Jasmine Crowell led the Eagles offensively with 10 kills on .409 attack percentage. Lydia Bonner added nine kills on .333 attack percentage. Elizabeth Rinaudo came up with a match-high 16 digs. Kristen Fleming handed out 30 assists.
The first set started out evenly with both team putting mini-runs over the first 12 points. NSU then outscored Southern Miss 5-1 in forcing the Eagles into a timeout trailing 11-6. The Lady Demons kept the Golden Eagles off balanced midway through the set before USM rallied to tie the set at 20-20. The teams traded the next three points until NSU got a kill from Mackenzie Neely for set point. USM fought off a set point before Stacey Difrancesco ended the set with a kill for the 25-23 win.
USM popped out to a 3-1 lead before the Lady Demons rallied to take the lead using a 6-0 run. Southern Miss was able to mount a comeback using a 9-5 run in tying the set at 12-12. NSU then countered with an 8-1 run for the 20-13 lead. USM did cut the lead to 23-19, but the Lady Demons took the second set, 25-20.
Southern Miss started the third set running out to a 4-1 lead and was able to maintain that lead midway through the set. USM built as many as a 12-6 lead before NSU rallied behind an 11-3 run to take a 17-15 lead. From there the teams traded points and playing to a 20-20 tie. The Golden Eagles got a pair of kills from Bonner to push the lead to 22-20. With USM leading 23-21, Neely finished off the final set with the final four kills to give NSU a 25-23 win.
Neely led all players with 14 kills with Difrancesco adding nine for Northwestern State. Keelie Arneson and Difrancesco tallied 11 and 10 digs, respectively, while Emily Sweet handed out 35 assists.
Southern Miss returns to action Saturday morning at 11 a.m., when the Golden Eagles take on Marist. USM will conclude action with the host UT Arlington at 7 p.m.