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Volleyball Eagles Fall at Florida Atlantic 3-1

Oct. 21, 2015

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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.

Stephany Purdue and Kylie Grandy recorded 11 kills apiece. Grandy added 14 digs in posting a double-double. Sarah Bell handed out 40 assists and 12 digs. Mary Pursell picked a team-best 21 digs.

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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