HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Miss volleyball rallied from a 2-1 deficit as the Golden Eagles claimed the final two sets in taking a 3-2 (25-22, 20-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-8) victory over South Alabama Tuesday night.
Southern Miss improved to 14-5 overall while South Alabama dropped to 7-7.
Stephany Purdue led the way with a match-high 25 kills to go with 10 digs. Sarah Bell added a double-double with 48 assists and 11 digs. Mary Pursell and Shelby Russell picked up 23 and 18 digs, respectively.
Southern Miss out-killed, out-hit and out-dug the Jaguars. The Golden Eagles finished with 68 kills on .150 hitting, 79 digs and just 8.0 team blocks. South Alabama recorded 50 kills on a .145 hitting clip, 71 digs and 20.0 team blocks.
Mechell Daniel led USA with 14 kills, 20 digs and seven total blocks while Kolby Meeks added 13 kills. Nikki Gitten chipped in 10 kills and seven total blocks. Sarah Richardson tallied 10 total blocks while Emma Anderson had 44 assists. Emily Hundt collected 21 digs and Arissa Chappell added 12 digs.
Both teams battled back and forth throughout the entire set. Neither team managed to put more than two points between the teams for much of the set. Out of a South Alabama timeout, the Golden Eagles were able to score five of the next eight points in taking a 22-18 lead. After a timeout, South Alabama cut the lead to 22-20, forcing the home team to take a timeout. Out of the timeout, the teams traded points before the Eagles ended the set scoring the final two points for the 25-22 win.
After racing out to a 5-1 lead to start the second set, South Alabama used a 7-3 run to tie the set at 8-8. From there, South Alabama held the Golden Eagles to a .095 hitting clip and recorded 11 total blocks to take the second set 25-20. The Jaguars finished the set with a .295 hitting clip and 12 kills and two aces.
The teams played evenly through the first 16 points before South Alabama put together a 5-1 run in taking a 13-9 lead. The teams continued to battle back and forth as Southern Miss was able to cut the lead to 18-17 and force the visitors to take a timeout. Out of the timeout, the teams traded points and battled to a 22-22 tie. The Jaguars then finished the set scoring the final three points for the 25-22 win.
The fourth set started out like the last set as the teams traded point for point. After battling to a 6-6 tie, Southern Miss scored four of the next five points in taking a 10-7 lead. The Jaguars battled back to tie the set again at 11-11. After a Golden Eagle timeout, the teams kept the score close until Southern Miss added a pair of kills late for a 23-21 lead. Out of South Alabama's final timeout, Purdue pounded two kills to help seal the win at 25-22 and forcing a fifth set.
Southern Miss ran out to a 6-2 lead to start the fifth set. South Alabama battled back to cut the lead to 7-6 on a 4-1 run. The team eventually battled to an 8-8 tie before Southern Miss ended the set on a 7-0 run for a 15-8 win.
Southern Miss will hit the road for a pair of Conference USA matches, beginning at Charlotte on Oct. 1 before heading to UAB on Oct. 4.
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