Volleyball collects sweep of FIU on Senior Day
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- It was a night of milestones for the Southern Miss volleyball team in its Senior Day sweep of FIU (26-24, 25-13, 25-19). Senior Natalie Druhan (digs) and junior Kylie Grandy (kills) crossed the 1,000-mark on the same play to cap off a 19-win regular season.
"It just happens that way," head coach Amanda Berkley said. "I don't know if you can plan it. That was pretty unique. Two great kids and two great players."
Southern Miss trailed 7-4 in the first set and later found itself up 24-21 after one of Grandy's 15 kills. Two attack errors and a kill allowed FIU to hold serve with a 24-all tie, but a bad set and Chandler Marshall kill saved it for the Golden Eagles.
"I'm really happy with how we played today," Berkley said. "We like to start down and find ways to come back. Kylie and Cat had great matches offensively, so that was really fun."
The Golden Eagles left no doubt in the second set, leading by as much as 19-8. Again in the third set, Southern Miss found itself down 12-9 before posting a 10-5 run to put itself within striking distance of the sweep.
The match had several similarities and differences from the 2016 Senior Day, when Stephany Purdue accomplished her own milestone of the school's all-time kills record, and Southern Miss rallied from an 0-2 deficit to drop eventual runner-up Rice.
"Last year was quite the match," Berkley said. "I'm just really happy we took care of business. I think sometimes Senior Days can be emotional, but we took care of business and did what we needed to do. Our team was so happy for each other with Kylie and Natalie, and it was nice to see everyone so emotional.
The Golden Eagles will open C-USA Championship play Friday in Bowling Green, Ky.
-Chandler Marshall now has 330 kills, which ranks eighth among freshmen in school history.
-Kylie Grandy hit .438 for the day with her 15 kills, her highest hitting percentage since a .520 mark in a sweep of Alabama on Sept. 2.
-Southern Miss has won three consecutive Senior Days.
-The senior class padded its hold on being the most-successful in program history.
-Sarah Bell matched a season-high of 46 assists in a three-set match (at Charlotte).
-Catherine Repsher recorded multiple service aces for the third time this season (vs. Middle Tennessee, vs. Nicholls).
-Alexis Coombs hit over .400 for the 10th time this season (nine kills, .412).