HUNTINGTON, W. Va. -- The Southern Miss volleyball team captured a 3-0 sweep of Marshall in Conference USA action Friday, improving to 22-9 overall and 9-5 in league play.
Stephany Purdue and Kylie Grandy led the way with 13 and 10 kills, respectively. Rachel Johnson added eight kills. Mary Pursell picked up 28 digs while Sarah Bell had 38 assists, six kills and eight digs.
The Golden Eagles finished with 48 kills on .213 hitting, 64 digs and 5.0 team blocks.
The first set featured 13 ties and six lead changes as Southern Miss outlasted Marshall (15-11, 6-7) 26-24. The teams battled back and forth as the teams matched run for run. With the set tied at 17-17, Marshall added a point before Southern Miss answered with back-to-back points for the 19-18 lead. After a Marshall timeout, the Black and Gold scored four of the next six points for a 23-20 lead. Marshall answered back with a 4-0 run to take a 24-23 lead. Southern Miss then got a kill from Elise Ames and Grandy then ended the set with a block for the 26-24 win.
Southern Miss bolted out to an 8-3 lead to start the second set only to see Marshall answer with a 5-0 run to tie the set at 8-8. Out of a timeout, Marshall added a point via the block before the Golden Eagles proceeded to score 12 of the next 17 points in taking a 20-13 lead. Southern Miss finished the match strong for a 25-16 win, tallying 17 kills to Marshall's seven.
The teams went back and forth until Southern Miss took a 12-7 lead after outscoring Marshall 7-2. The Golden Eagles were able to maintain the lead for the remainder of the set, in spite of Marshall cutting the lead to 22-19. Southern Miss went to defeat the Herd 25-21 to complete the sweep.
Ally Kiekover led Marshall with 10 kills while Allie Kellerman and Kassidy Lemons had 15 and 12 digs, respectively. The Herd finished with 33 kills on a .103 hitting clip, 51 digs and 9.0 team blocks.
Southern Miss returns home to host Charlotte on Sunday at 12 p.m. for senior day. Five seniors will be honored in a pregame ceremony, Elise Ames, Lydia Bonner, Rachel Johnson, Mary Pursell and Shelby Russell.
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