MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Southern Miss placed four players in double figure kills and digs but it was enough as Golden Eagles fell to Austin Peay in five sets, 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 16-25, 30-28, 15-9) in the Tiger Invitational Saturday evening.
Southern Miss falls to 12-4 while Austin Peay improves to 5-10.
Stephany Purdue led a quartet of Eagles with 20 kills and 16 digs. Kylie Grandy, Rachel Johnson and Elise Ames all collected 10 kills each. Mary Pursell tallied 21 digs with Sarah Bell adding 14 digs and 47 assists. Grandy also had 15 digs and Shelby Russell chipped in 12 digs.
The Golden Eagles finished the match with 62 kills on a .146 hitting clip, eight aces, 84 digs and 10.0 team blocks.
The first set featured a set of runs by each time. There were eight ties and four lead changes. Southern Miss held off Austin in the first set 25-23. The Golden Eagles recorded 17 kills on .302 hitting.
Austin Peay tied the set by using a 16-6 run to take a lead it would not relinquish. Neither team hit very well, but Austin Peay managed to out-hit the Golden Eagles .067 to -.044.
Southern Miss tallied 14 kills on a .357 hitting clip while hold Austin Peay to just nine kills on .034 hitting for a 25-16 win in set three.
The fourth set featured 12 ties and four lead changes as both team battled throughout the set. Austin Peay used a 9-1 run to take a 21-20 lead. From there, the teams traded points for the remainder of the set with each team fighting off set point. Austin Peay was able to outlast Southern Miss 30-28 to force a fifth set.
In the final set of the match, Austin Peay scored seven of the first 10 points to start the set and never looked back. The Governors netted seven kills on 14 attempts for a .500 hitting clip and held Southern Miss to .160 hitting in taking a 15-9 win.
Ashley Slay led Austin Peay with 19 kills while Sammie Ebright added 13 kills and 18 digs. April Adams had 21 digs.
Southern Miss opens Conference USA play on the road against Louisiana Tech on Monday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.
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