Volleyball Eagles Knock Off Louisiana Tech 3-1
Golden Eagles open C-USA play with a win
RUSTON, La. -- The Southern Miss volleyball team held off a stubborn Louisiana Tech team for a 3-1 (25-18, 25-15, 21-25, 25-17) decision Monday night in the Conference USA opener.
A trio of Golden Eagles registered double figure kills led by sophomore Kelsey Chambers with 15 on a .367 hitting clip followed by freshman Kylie Grandy with 11 and junior Stephany Purdue added 10. Senior libero Mary Pursell came up with 19 digs while freshman Sarah Bell, Grandy and senior Shelby Russell added 17, 11 and 10 digs respectively. Bell also handed out 35 assists in recording a double-double.
Helena Gunnarsdottir led Louisiana Tech with 12 kills followed by Alexa Lister with 10. Adria Morales collected 18 digs and Alejandra Aviles had 15. Morales also had 19 assists.
Southern Miss (13-4, 1-0) attacked at a .243 clip in out-hitting the Techsters .129. The Eagles posted a total of 53 kills, 75 digs and 9.0 total team blocks. Louisiana Tech (6-8, 0-1) finished with 46 kills, 69 digs and 5.0 team blocks.
The teams opened the first set matching point-for-point for the first 16 points. The Golden Eagles then scored seven of the next nine points in taking a 15-10 lead. Out of a timeout, Southern Miss added a point before Tech scored four straight points in forcing the Golden Eagles to take a timeout leading 16-14. After the timeout, Southern Miss answered with three straight points to push the lead to 19-14. Out of a Louisiana Tech timeout, the Golden Eagles closed out the set scoring six of the final nine points for a 25-18 win.
Southern Miss started the second stanza strong in running out to a 9-4 lead and did not look back. Six different players recorded at least one kill as the Golden Eagles finished with 14 on a .393 hitting clip. Southern Miss held the Techsters to just eight kills on .030 hitting for a 25-15 win.
After Southern Miss scored the first point to start the third set, Louisiana Tech then went on a 10-3 run in taking a 10-4 lead. Southern Miss began fighting back and eventually cut the lead to 21-20. After a Techster timeout, Louisiana Tech closed out the set scoring four of the final five points for the 25-21 win
The Golden Eagles scored 10 of the first 16 points in taking a 16-10 lead to start set four. Louisiana Tech then scored the next three points in cutting the lead to 10-9 and forcing Southern Miss to take a timeout. The teams battled back and forth until the Golden Eagles were able to push ahead 17-13. Out of a timeout, the Eagles continued add points to the lead and ran the score to 20-14, forcing Tech to take its final timeout. From there, Southern Miss finished the set scoring five of the final eight points for the 25-17 win.
Southern Miss returns home to host Florida Atlantic on Sept. 25 in a 6 p.m. first serve.