HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Western Kentucky held the Southern Miss volleyball team to a .089 hitting percentage in falling in four sets, 23-25, 25-9, 25-10, 27-25 Friday night in Conference USA action.
The Golden Eagles dropped to 19-11 overall and 8-5 in league play while the Hilltoppers improved to 24-5 overall and 12-1.
Stephany Purdue and Jasmine Crowell posted 13 and 12 kills, respectively while four Eagles tallied double-digit digs. Mary Pursell picked 16 while Kristen Fleming had 12 to go with 38 assists. Alex Pfefferle and Shelby Russell added 10 digs each. Elise Ames finished with four total blocks. Southern Miss had 42 kills, 61 digs and 6.0 team blocks.
Four players paced Western Kentucky with double figure kills led by Alyssa Cavanaugh with 16, Haley Bodway had 15, Heather Boyan and Noelle Langenkamp tallied 10 kills each. Georgia O'Connell picked up a match-high 23 digs while Jessica Lucas added 17 to go with 45 assists. The Hilltoppers finished with 59 kills on .306 hitting, four aces, 69 digs and 13.0 team blocks.
There were 12 ties and seven lead changes in the first set. The Golden Eagles trailed 19-16 headed into a timeout. Out of the timeout, WKU added another points in taking a four-point lead. Hayward put down a kill that sparked a 9-3 run to close out the set for a 25-23 win.
The Hilltoppers used an 11-3 run in taking a double-digit lead over the Golden Eagles to start the second set. WKU collected 14 kills on 23 attempts on a .609 hitting clip for the 25-9 win. Southern Miss did not fare any better in the set as the Hilltoppers put down 16 kills to the Eagles' seven in capturing a 25-10 victory.
The team battled through the first 13 points before WKU added a three points for the 10-6 lead. WKY led 17-12 when the Eagles used a timeout. The Hilltoppers kept the momentum and pushed their lead to 20-14. From there, the Golden Eagles fought back using a 6-3 run in cutting the lead to 23-21. Southern Miss eventually tied the set at 24-24 before trading a pair of points. WKU got back-to-back kills to close out the match for a 27-25 win.
Southern Miss will close out its home portion of its schedule with Senior Day on Sunday against Florida Atlantic at 12 p.m. Seniors Jasmine Crowell, Alex Pfefferle, Kristen Fleming and Katie Steelman will be honored prior to the match.
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