| Box Score
ARLINGTON, Texas - A trio of Golden Eagle recorded double figure kills in leading Southern Miss past host UT Arlington in three straight sets by scores of 25-21, 25-18, 25-23 to place second in the UTA Hilton Classic Saturday night.
Senior Halie Ecker and freshman Lydia Bonner paced the team with 15 kills apiece while sophomore Jasmine Crowell added 13 kills. Elizabeth Rinaudo and Ecker led USM with 13 digs each while Kristen Fleming had 37 assists.
As a team, Southern Miss (3-6) tallied 47 kills on a .264 hitting percentage to go with 46 digs, five aces and 6.0 team blocks. UTA (5-6) finished with 43 kills on a .229 hitting percentage, 39 digs and 10.0 team blocks.
UTA opened the first set scoring the first three points before Southern Miss used a 4-0 run for a 4-3 lead. The teams traded points over the next 15 points. The Eagles got back-to-back kills in taking a 13-11 lead, forcing UTA to take a timeout. The Mavericks responded out of their timeout and scored the next four points for a 15-13. Following a USM timeout, the Golden Eagles scored five straight points to regain the lead at 18-14. UTA battled back to tie the set at 19-all before USM used a 6-2 run to end the set for a25-21 win.
The Mavericks popped out to a 4-1 lead to start set two. USM then used a 10-2 run in forging an 11-6 lead. UTA registered a kill out of its timeout, but the Eagles were able to maintain the momentum in keeping a 14-9 lead. After UTA burned its second timeout, the Mavericks closed the gap to 18-14, but that was a close as they would get as Southern Miss finished the set using an 8-4 run for the 25-18 win.
UTA started the third set scoring five of the first seven points. The teams battled to an 8-8 tie before UT Arlington put together a 4-0 run to push its lead to 12-8 and forcing USM to take a timeout. Behind Ecker, Crowell and Bonner, USM cut the lead to 14-13. After a UTA kill, the Golden Eagles outscored UTA 6-1 to take a 19-16 lead and eventually extended that lead to 17-21. But UTA rallied using a 5-0 run for a 222-21 lead. USM tied the set on a UTA miscue then Fleming added an ace and Bonner recorded a kill for match-point for the Eagles at 24-22. Following a long rally that led to a UTA kill, Bonner then put down a kill for the final point and the win for the Eagles, 25-23.
Taylor Gross led UTA with 11 kills and Amy Davault added 10 to go with 10 digs.
"That was first match where I saw real competitive action from our team," head coach Abbey Sutherland said. "We were in rhythm and starting to build trust. Our defense was very scrappy and we played with lots energy."
Crowell was named to the all-tournament team for her performance along with Stacey DiFrancesco and Emily Sweet of Northwestern State, Gross of UTA and Gena Russo of Marist.
Stacey DiFrancesco and Emily Sweet, NSU
Jasmine Crowell, USM
Taylor Gross, UTA
Gena Russo, Marist