HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Junior Stephany Purdue recorded her eighth double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs, but it wasn't enough as the Golden Eagles fell to WKU 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-9, 25-17) in Conference USA action Sunday.
Sarah Bell finished with 32 assists, seven kills and a pair of aces for the Golden Eagles while Mary Pursell tallied double digit digs with 12.
WKU out-hit and out-dug the Eagles. The Hilltoppers had 56 kills on a .306 hitting clip, had 52 digs and registered 8.0 team blocks. Southern Miss finished the match with 45 kills on .086 hitting, 48 digs and 5.0 team blocks.
WKU scored 10 of the first 14 points in taking a 10-4 lead in the opening set. Following a Golden Eagle timeout, Southern Miss added a back-to-back point to get within 10-6. The teams battled back and forth for the next seven points before WKU scored eight of the next 12 points to take an 18-10 lead. Out of a timeout, Southern Miss tallied back-to-back points before WKU closed out the set with a 7-4 run for a 25-16 win.
The second set featured 10 ties and eight lead changes during this set. The teams battled to a 9-9 tie before Southern Miss scored the next three points for a 12-9 lead. Out of a timeout, the Golden Eagles added another point before WKU scored four of the next three points to cut the lead to 14-13. After pushing ahead 19-16, WKU answered with back-to-back points. After a timeout, Purdue added a kill to give the Eagles a 20-18 lead. From there, the teams went back and forth battling to a 22-22 tie. The Golden Eagles finally closed out the set, scoring three of the final four points for the 25-23 win.
WKU ran out to a 7-2 lead to start the second set, then, put its offense in high gear in taking the second set, 25-9. WKU out-hit the Eagles .429 to -.143, limiting Southern Miss to just seven kills.
WKU scored eight of the first 10 points to start the fourth set and never looked back for a 25-17 win. Once again, the Hilltoppers out-hit the Eagles .250 to .000.
Noelle Langenkamp led a trio of teammates a match-high 14 kills followed by Alyssa Cavanaugh with 13 and Sydney Engle added 11 kills. Georgia O'Connell picked up 16 digs while Jessica Lucas added a double-double with 39 assists and 13 digs.
Southern Miss returns home to host a pair of matches against FIU on Friday at 6 p.m. and conclude with Louisiana Tech on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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