Berkley collects 100th-career win as Southern Miss rallies for big sweep of Charlotte
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- It was a sweep, but it sure did take a lot of sweat, and that was perfectly alright for the Southern Miss volleyball team on Friday night at Charlotte.
The Golden Eagles trailed the 49ers in all three sets, from 17-10 to 14-9 to 25-24 in succeeding fashion. Each time they came right back and picked up the win for head coach Amanda Berkley's 100th as a head coach (27-25, 25-23, 27-25).
"A lot of the credit goes to the players the past five years for winning all of these matches," Berkley said. "I'm very thankful for the people who have been associated with our program and have worked hard to make our teams great. Special thanks to my assistant Dave Brown for his tireless work the past four years. Just a total team effort and I'm very proud to be the coach here at Southern Miss."
A Charlotte attack error tied it at 19 in the first set, and the teams traded ties at points 21-25. Kills by Kylie Grandy and Catherine Repsher finished the 27-25 job. Southern Miss scored five-straight points in the second after being down 14-9, and tied it on a Grandy ace and Chandler Marshall kill. The Golden Eagles again managed to find themselves down 19-16, but three more points (lastly with a Repsher kill) tied it up and forced a timeout.
Southern Miss (16-9, 6-3) won the second set, 25-23, after an attack error and Repsher kill ended the frame.
The Golden Eagles gave Charlotte a taste of its own medicine with a 10-5, third-set lead. The Black and Gold pushed it to 17-13 and 21-16, but the home squad found a way to tie it back at 22. Marshall followed with back-to-back kills, and at set-point the 49ers picked up a kill and error to regain their own set-point. One more attack error and Repsher kill concluded the night.
"I'm really proud of this team and the fight and resiliency they had in each set," Berkley said. "Just a great overall team effort. That was a gritty win against a very good opponent."
Charlotte (17-8, 4-5 C-USA) was held to a .143 hitting percentage. Sydney Rowan led the way with 15 kills and 14 digs.
Southern Miss now heads far west to battle North Texas at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Golden Eagles defeated the Mean Green in five sets in this year's conference opener.
-Kylie Grandy had her team-best 10th double-double, posting 15 kills and 11 digs.
-Sarah Bell had 46 assists, her most in a three-setter all season. She also had 45 in the sweep of UL Lafayette.
-Ashley Chapman had a career-high 16 digs, which also led the squad.