JACKSON, Miss. -- Junior Stephany Purdue pounded down a match-high 10 kills in leading Southern Miss past in-state rival Jackson State 3-0 (25-23, 25-9, 25-20), improving to 9-0.
The Golden Eagles outhit the Tigers .310 to .086, while collecting 36 kills, 27 digs, 29 assists, two aces and 8.0 team blocks. Kylie Grandy led the team with six digs. Jackson State (0-8) finished the match with 28 kills, 14 digs and 10.0 team blocks.
The teams battled back and forth throughout the first set. Neither team managed to put any distance on the scoreboard. With the score tied at 7-7, Southern Miss scored five of the next seven points to take a 12-9 lead. Jackson State came right back and scored the next six points in regaining a 14-12 lead. The Golden Eagles. The team began trading points and eventually battled to a 20-20 tie. Southern Miss got a Purdue kill and JSU error for the 22-20 lead. JSU added a kill and block to tie the set in tying the set yet again. After trading a pair of points, Southern Miss finally ended the match with a block and ace for the 25-23 win.
Southern Miss opened the second set scoring seven of the first 11 points. After JSU cut the lead to 7-5, the Golden Eagles ran off nine straight points in taking a commanding 16-5 lead before JSU called a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Black and Gold continued to roll on the offensive and took the second set, 25-9.
The third set almost mirrored the first set with the team battling back and forth. The set featured 11 ties and three lead changes. With the score tied at 13-13, Southern Miss got a little momentum and pushed the lead to 18-14. JSU fought back to cut the lead to 21-19 before the Golden Eagles outscored the Tigers 4-1 down the stretch for the 25-20 win.
Taija Thomas led JSU with nine kills.
Southern Miss returns to the court when the Golden Eagles travel to Oxford, Miss., for the Rebel Classic. The Golden Eagles will open with Belmont on Friday at 1 p.m. and follow with Ole Miss at 5:30. Southern Miss concludes the tournament with Buffalo at 10 a.m. Saturday.
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