BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The Southern Miss volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision at Florida Atlantic Wednesday by the scores of 23-25, 25-15, 23-25, 24-26.
The Golden Eagles fall to 19-7 overall and 6-3 in Conference USA while FAU improved to 15-6 and 7-2.
The Owls out-hit and out-dug the Eagles. FAU had 55 kills on a .159 hitting clip and registered 71 digs. Southern Miss finished the match with 49 kills on .113 hitting, 70 digs and 11.0 team blocks.
FAU grabbed the early 11-7 lead in opening the first set. After a timeout, FAU maintained the momentum scoring four of the next five points in running the lead to 15-8. The Golden Eagles' offense finally got on track and outscored FAU 8-2 in cutting the lead to 17-16. The teams battled back and forth down the stretch. The Golden Eagles fought off three set points before FAU ended with a 25-23 win.
FAU scored the first point to start the second set before the Golden Eagles rallied to score seven of the next 10 points in taking a 7-4 lead and never looked back. Southern Miss was able to maintain its lead throughout the remainder of the set in claiming a 25-15 win. Southern Miss out-hit FAU .267 to .029.
FAU took a 12-6 lead before the Golden Eagles battled back in cutting the lead to 15-13. The teams battled back and forth for most of the set. Southern Miss eventually tied the set at 22-22 before the Owls ended the set scoring three of the final four points with a 25-23 win.
The fourth set featured 13 ties and eight lead changes. After Southern Miss took an early 7-4 lead in the fourth set before FAU fought back to tie the set at 8-8. Southern Miss scored three straight points in taking an 11-8 lead. FAU then used a 5-1 run to take a 13-12 lead. The teams battled down the stretch as FAU was able to outlast the Golden Eagles 26-24.
Maja Ristic tallied 19 kills and Brittney Brown added 13 kills. Kristina Rankovic led FAU with a team-best 21 digs with Genesis adding 13 and Ivone Martinez and Nathalie Rosado chipping in 12 digs each.
Southern Miss returns home to host a pair of C-USA matches with UTEP on Friday and UAB on Sunday.
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