Sep 7, 2013
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Golden Eagle volleyball team captured a three-game win over Villanova (25-23, 27-25, 25-16) Saturday afternoon in the Nebraska Tournament. The Golden Eagles improve to 4-2 while the Wildcats fall to 1-4.
Sophomore middle blocker Quinci Hayward (New Orleans, La.) led all players with a career and match-high 20 kills on .302 hitting as sophomore outside hitter Lydia Bonner (Houston, Texas) pounded nine kills.
Junior setter Kristen Fleming (Columbus, Ga.) dished out 46 assists as Mary Pursell led the defense with 13 digs followed by Alex Pfefferle (New Orleans, La.) and Stephany Purdue (Mesa, Ariz.) with 11 and 10 digs, respectively.
The two teams battled from the start. There were 15 ties and seven lead changes throughout the opening set. Following a Southern Miss timeout trailing Villanova, 19-18, the Golden Eagles quickly added a kill from Bonner and Purdue for a 20-19 lead. As the teams battled back and forth, Southern Miss was able to get back-to-back kills from Hayward for a 23-22 lead. Out of the Villanova timeout, Hayward answered with another kill to give the Eagles set point, 24-22, before the Wildcats added a kill for the 24-23 score. Fleming then sealed the 25-23 win with a kill. USM tallied 19 kills in the set on .326 hitting.
Southern Miss had to fight back from 17-12 deficit by using a 10-4 to gain a 22-21 lead. The teams traded points before Villanova found itself with set point at 24-23 when a Jasmine Crowell kill knotted the score at 24-24. A USM service error gave the Wildcats set point again, but a Hayward kill and two Villanova errors helped the Eagles to a 27-25 win.
The teams battled back and forth, but trailed Villanova 11-9 when the Southern Miss used an 8-2 run to take a 16-13 lead. From there, the Golden Eagles defense played a major factor in taking the final set and match with a 25-16 win.
Claire Crutchfield led the Wildcats with a team-high 15 kills while Mariah Henley recorded a match-high 19 digs.
Southern Miss returns home to host Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
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