HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss logged a big Conference USA win Friday night, downing the Marshall Thundering Herd in four sets in late-season action.
The Golden Eagles (14-12, 5-6) took the first match 25-22, fell in the second 25-19, won the third 25-16 and ended the match with a 25-20 showing in the fourth.
"Overall, everyone did their job," Head Coach Amanda Berkley said. "We got a great match out of Kristin Fleming. Her was able to spread the offense around and distributed the ball well because we had four with double figure kills. Defensively, Mary Pursell was awesome. She was all over the place."
Junior Jasmine Crowell's kill in the fourth set officially ended the match and improved Southern Miss' record to 14-12 overall and 5-6 in Conference USA play. Marshall fell to 14-14 overall and 7-5 in C-USA action.
Quinci Hawyard led the way with 16 kills while Crowell finished with 15 kills and 18 points. Libero Mary Purcell accounted for 55-of-62 assists and 30 digs on the night while freshman Stephany Purdue added 10 kills, 12 digs and 11 points and sophomore Elise Ames added 12 kills and 14 points. Crowell and Ames recorded four blocks each. Kristen Fleming handed out 55 assists.
In the first set, Southern Miss and the Herd were neck-and-neck until late when the Golden Eagles went on a 4-1 run and Lydia Bonner killed a Marshall overpass to end the set with a 25-22 win.
The Herd (14-14, 7-5) rebounded in the second set and evened the match at 1-1 after scoring six of the last eight points to take a 25-19 win. Both team put down 13 kills, but Marshall finished with a .310 hitting clip.
In the third set, the Golden Eagles were dominant and, after a service ace by Shelby Russell, kill by Ames and a final point by Pursell to force an attack error by Marshall, took a 2-1 advantage in the match after a 25-16 win. The Golden Eagles posted 16 kills on a .441 hitting clip.
Southern Miss jumped out to an 18-9 lead in the fourth set and was able to ward off a late attempt at a comeback by the Herd as the Golden Eagles took the final set, 25-20
Marshall's top performer was Laura Der with 19 kills and eight digs. Ally Kiekover added 12 kills and Sacha Byous-McConnell had 11. Dorothy Rahal picked up 12 digs while Sammie Bane and Allie Kellerman had 10 and 11 respectively. Bane also had 46 assists.
Southern Miss returns to action Sunday at noon with its final home match of the season, a Conference USA showdown with Florida International. It will be Senior Day for the Golden Eagles.
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