Sept. 14, 2013
LAKE CHARLES, La. - The Southern Miss volleyball team (4-0) secured a 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-19) victory against Texas-Pan American (3-0) to become the Big Daddy's Invitational Champions.
Offensively sophomore Quinci Hayward posted a team-best 13 kills, while freshman Stephany Purdue also had double-digit kills with 11 and sophomore Elise Ames was third on the team with seven. Setter Kristen recorded 25 assists, four digs and three kills. Sophomore libero Mary Pursell and defensive specialist Alex Pfefferle registered eight digs. Ames led the Eagles in blocks with six and Hayward was second on the team with four.
"I'm really proud of the team and the way the battled all weekend," Coach Amanda Berkley said. "This was a team effort as every player who played did a good job of staying focus and taking care of business."
The Golden Eagles totaled 42 kills on .308 hitting clip, 37 assists, five aces, 32 digs and 8.0 total team blocks. The Broncs finished the match with a .059 attack percentage, 27 kills, 27 assists, 29 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
Hayward was named the Invitational MVP, while both Ames and Fleming were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The two battled back and forth early and continued to trade points. The Golden Eagles broke the 9-9 with an attack error and kill by Purdue for the 11-9 lead. UTPA fought back to tie the set at 13-13 before Southern Miss pushed ahead on four straight points that included a kill from Ames and two from Hayward to go up 17-13. USM extended its lead to 19-14, forcing UTPA into a timeout. From there, the Eagles closed out the set on a 7-2 run for the 25-16 win.
The Golden Eagles ran out to an 8-2 lead and never looked back. Southern Miss eventually extended its lead to 17-9 before UTPA burned its second timeout. The Broncs could not get its offense going as the Eagles capitalized on UTPA miscues for the 24-11 lead. UTPA fought off three set points before Katie Steelman put down the final kill for a 25-14 win.
Southern Miss momentum continued into the third set as the Golden Eagles took a 5-2 lead. Texas-Pan American cut the lead to 5-4 before the Golden Eagles outscored the Broncs 8-1 for the 13-5 lead. UTPA made a run and cut the lead to 15-10, but after a timeout, Southern Miss pushed ahead 20-13 behind Purdue and Jasmine Crowell combined three kills and a Pursell ace. Southern Miss took the final set, 25-19 in winning the championship.
Maria Kliefoth and Anjane Janda led UTPA nine kills apiece while Shanice Faison and Nausheen Merchant recorded six digs each.
Southern Miss travels to Northwestern State for a Tuesday match in a 7 p.m. first serve.
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