HATTIESBURG, Miss. - >It’s always tough to win on the road, especially on Senior Night.
That proved to be the case for a surging Southern Miss volleyball squad at Louisiana Tech, but the visiting Golden Eagles fought off a pesky Lady Techsters squad in that team’s final home contest for a straight-set victory (25-21, 30-28, 29-27) Thursday night. The win extended Southern Miss’ winning streak to five matches and seven victories over their last eight contests.
"I'm really proud of the fight our team had tonight," head coach Amanda Berkley said. "That was a tough team in LA Tech and we had to really battle for each point. Our pin hitters did a real nice job for us putting the ball away. Also I thought Chanel Joyce did a great job blocking."
Overall, Southern Miss improved to 21-7 overall and 10-3 in C-USA play, defeating the Bulldogs (13-17, 4-1) for the 10th-straight time. The Golden Eagles continue to push for the No. 2 spot in the league standings as they finish the regular season with a 12 noon CT game, Saturday, at FIU.
Joyce got Southern Miss going in the opening game by collecting six kills in eight attempts as the Golden Eagles led for most of the set. The teams exchanged the first four points of the game, before Southern Miss took advantage of a LA Tech service error and Joyce’s first kill of the set and they never trailed again in the opening set.
After holding on to a lead for most of the first set, the Golden Eagles had to rally late in game two.
Southern Miss found themselves behind 23-19 before Natalie Druhan served five-straight points, including a pair of service aces, to put the Golden Eagles up 24-23. The teams then battled back and forth with the Golden Eagles holding four set points and LA Tech notching one down the stretch before Grandy ended the game with a kill.
Grandy notched seven kills in the set, including two of the team’s final three points, to give the Golden Eagles the two-game advantage.
In the final game, the teams were tied at 11-11, before Southern Miss ran off four-straight points including a kill from Purdue during that stretch. The Golden Eagles were up 24-22 and looking to end the match, but the Lady Techsters rallied for three-straight points.
LA Tech eventually took the lead at 27-26, but the Golden Eagles scored the final three points on a Grandy kill and two LA Tech attack errors that the visitors blocked to secure the road victory.
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