Dominant third-set win completes volleyball sweep of Blue Raiders
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss built up a 22-4 lead in the third set to complete a stifling defensive display in Friday night's sweep of the visiting Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (25-16, 25-12, 25-9).
The Golden Eagles (15-8, 5-2 C-USA) scored the first five points of that final frame, and after building a 6-1 lead and forcing a Middle Tennessee timeout, Catherine Repsher posted back-to-back service aces to influence another stoppage. The score sat at 11-3 before the Black and Gold went on another 11-1 run, helped by consecutive Natalie Druhan aces.
"It was a great team win," head coach Amanda Berkley said. "I'm very proud of the team for a great sideout percentage (82 percent overall and 12-for-12 in the second). I thought our serving was very aggressive. Sarah [Bell] did a nice job spreading the call around and Kylie [Grandy] had a great match on the outside. Overall , it was a great team win."
Offensively, Grandy led the way with 10 kills and a .348 hitting percentage. Bell now has 3,540 assists, surpassing Kristen Fleming (2011-14) for No. 4 on the Southern Miss career list. She also had three kills on her first three attacks.
Southern Miss held Middle Tennessee (6-17, 2-7 C-USA) to a -.132 hitting percentage, which is the lowest allowed by the Black and Gold since 2009 and against a conference opponent since prior to 2000.
The team's eight service aces were its most since having nine in back-to-back home outings versus Little Rock and Jackson State in August.
The Golden Eagles led 9-3 in the second set and also did not pull away with a five-point lead or better until it was 18-13 in the first.
Southern Miss remains at home Sunday for a bout with Florida Atlantic at noon. It will also be Daddy-Daughter Day, with buy-one, get-one ticket specials on tap for those groups. Pink shirts will also be given out as part of breast cancer awareness.