First-set rally not enough for Southern Miss at Rice
HOUSTON, Texas -- Southern Miss overcame a 13-7 deficit to win the opening set at Rice, but the Owls put together three consecutive wins for a Sunday, Senior Day win over the Golden Eagles (25-22, 17-25, 18-25, 23-25).
"We certainly didn't play our best today, but we will have to rebound quickly for this weekend," head coach Amanda Berkley said. "Conference USA play is very challenging and you have to come ready to play and today just wasn't our day."
Chandler Marshall recorded a kill that kicked off a 5-0 run by the Golden Eagles, cutting the Rice lead to 13-12 in the opener. Southern Miss later had to call a timeout trailing 19-17, and an Owl kill pushed it to 20-17. The Black and Gold rallied to tie it at 20, 21 and 22, and a Rice service error gave Southern Miss the lead it needed.
A kill by Kylie Grandy, an attack error and ace by Chapman completed the game-ending 3-0 run.
Rice (20-7, 10-3 C-USA) started the second set with an 11-2 run and rallied from 12-9 down in the third.
Two attack errors and a Catherine Repsher kill allowed Southern Miss to tie it at 23 in the fourth set and force a Rice timeout. The Golden Eagles gave the Owls match-point on a service error and were unable to handle a kill for the day's final point.
Southern Miss (17-11, 7-5 C-USA) now turns its attention to its final two regular-season matches, both at home. Louisiana Tech comes in for a 6 p.m. Thursday tilt, followed by FIU on Saturday at 12 p.m. that will also serve as Senior Day for Kelsey Chambers and Natalie Druhan.
-Kylie Grandy posted match-highs of 14 kills and three aces, which continued her pace of being one of only two to rank in the top-10 for those categories in C-USA play.
-Rice hit just .181, the seventh time in eight matches that the Golden Eagles held their opponent below .200.
-The previous two meetings between the teams went five sets.