HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss volleyball team dropped its Conference USA match against Rice on Friday night by the scores of 26-24, 25-23, 25-22.
Rice (11-4, 1-0) placed a trio of Owls in double figure kills led by Chelsey Harris with 14 followed by Leah Mikesky with 13 and Jillian Humphrey with 10. Daniela Arenas led the team with 20 digs.
Rice ran out to a 6-2 lead to start the first set. Southern Miss battled back to tie the set at 11-11, using a 9-5 run. The teams traded points for the next 19 points before the Golden Eagles held a 21-20 margin. The teams continued to battle for the remainder of the set as neither team managed to keep any kind of momentum. After Southern Miss took a 24-23 lead, Rice used a timeout and then ended the set scoring the final three points for the 26-24 win.
Rice held an 8-4 lead to start the set. The Black and Gold fought back to cut the lead to 19-17. After a Rice timeout, Southern Miss scored the next four points as Hayward put away three consecutive kills in giving the home team a 21-19 lead. After another Rice timeout, the Eagles added a point before Rice battled back in cutting the lead to 23-22. After a Golden Eagle timeout, Rice rallied with three-straight points in taking a 25-23 win.
The two teams battled back and forth to start the third set before Rice added a trio of points in taking a 15-12 advantage. Following a Southern Miss timeout, Rice scored five of the next seven points for the 20-15 lead. Southern Miss was able to make a comeback, but fell short in dropping a 25-22 set.
The Golden Eagles will hit the road again when they travel to Middle Tennessee for a Sunday matchup. First serve is set for 1 p.m.
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