Golden Eagle Volleyball Thwarts Comeback Effort From Charlotte, Wins 3-2

Oct. 1, 2015

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Southern Miss volleyball team held off a stubborn Charlotte team in taking a 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-27, 17-15) victory over the 49ers in Conference USA action Thursday night.

This marked the seventh five-set match for Southern Miss as the Golden Eagles improved to 15-5 overall and 2-1 in league play while Charlotte dropped to 5-10 and 2-2.

Stephany Purdue led the attack with a match-high 23 kills while three other Golden Eagles tallied double-digit kills. Kelsey Chambers finished with 13 kills and Kylie Grandy and Elise Ames collected 11 kills apiece. Mary Pursell picked up 22 digs with Grandy adding 15 for a double-double. Sarah Bell finished with a season-high 57 assists to go with 12 digs. Purdue is one kill away from 1,000 kills in her career.

The Golden Eagles out-killed, out-hit and out-dug the 49ers. Southern Miss tallied 57 kills on a .245 hitting clip and had 71 digs. The visitors also finished with 9.0 team blocks. Charlotte had 56 kills on .195 hitting, 68 digs and 12.0 team blocks.

After trading points for the first 17 points, Charlotte used a 5-0 run in taking a 13-9 lead. The 49ers then scored six of the next 10 points, increasing their lead to 19-13. The Golden Eagle put up a fight and battled to within a point on three occasions before Charlotte ended the set kill for the 25-23 win.

The second set started like the first set with the teams trading points for the first 17 points. The Black and Gold then outscored Charlotte 6-2 for a 15-10 lead. Out of a Charlotte timeout, Southern Miss added a pair of points with an ace and block for the 17-10 lead. Charlotte answered with three straight points in cutting the lead to 17-13. Out of a timeout, the Golden Eagles was able to extend third lead to 19-13 on back-to-back kills before Charlotte answered with three-straight points to get within 19-16. The Golden Eagles then scored three of the next four points to force Charlotte into its final timeout. Southern Miss closed out the set taking three of the final five points for the 25-20 win.

Southern Miss ran out to a 5-1 lead to start the third set, but Charlotte battled back to tie the set at 9-9. From there, the Golden Eagles scored seven of the next 10 for a 16-12 lead. Out of the Charlotte timeout, Southern Miss put down three kills and record an ace to extend the lead to 20-12. Southern Miss took the win 25-16.

The fourth set featured 10 ties and three led changes as the two teams battled throughout the set. Both team recorded 16 kills apiece. Charlotte held the edge in out-hitting the Golden Eagles .256 to .227. The 49ers also out-dug Southern Miss 19-16. Southern Miss held a 24-22 lead, but Charlotte recorded back-to-back kills to tie the set at 24-24 in fighting off a pair of set points. With the slight momentum shift, Charlotte was able to take the set 27-25 and force a fifth set.

The battled continued into the final set between the two teams. After Charlotte took an early lead, Southern Miss rallied back to tie the set at 6-6. The team traded points for the next 11 points. Southern Miss led 12-11 before the Golden Eagles added a point out of a timeout for a 13-11 lead. The teams then traded service errors with the Golden Eagles hold a match point at 14-12. After using its final timeout, Charlotte fought back to tie the set at 14-14 prompting the Eagles to take a timeout. Charlotte took a 15-14 advantage on a big block, but the Golden Eagles answered with three straight points to end the set with a 17-15 win.

Southern Miss now travels to UAB for an Oct. 4 match with first serve set for 1 p.m.

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