MIAMI -- Kylie Grandy, Stephany Purdue and Sarah Bell each posted double-doubles as Southern Miss closed its regular season with a 3-1 win at FIU on Saturday afternoon (25-13, 21-25, 25-16, 25-22).
Southern Miss (22-7, 11-3 C-USA) posted its best league record since a 14-2 mark in 2009. It also claims the second seed entering Friday's C-USA Championships (Nov. 18-20 in Houston) after its six-match win streak and taking the upper hand in nine of its last 10. The Golden Eagles own the tiebreaker over Marshall.
"It was great to get the win," head coach Amanda Berkley said. "It was a tough match and we played well at times, but I think our pins did a nice job. Stephany, Kylie and Chanel did great things. Natalie had a lot of digs too. I thought we blocked pretty well. We did some good things, especially with Chanel and both our middles."
The first set could not have gotten much better for the Golden Eagles, never trailing and cruising to the 25-13 lead. Southern Miss hit .359 in that stanza as well.
FIU used its second-set timeouts wisely as it went down 12-7 and 18-12, making its dramatic comeback behind four Katie Hogan kills. She ended the day with 20.
An 8-2 run in the midst of Set Three gave Southern Miss a 16-9 lead. This time it was Grandy with the four-kill burst, helped by a Makareta Rademakers service ace as well. The visitors maintained their cushion the rest of the way and won 25-16 on a Grandy kill at the end.
The fourth set was the biggest fight of the match, as Southern Miss' 16 and 17-14 leads tied and became the biggest of the round. Hogan tied it back up at 22 with a service ace and the Golden Eagles called a timeout. Purdue picked up a kill and service ace before an FIU attack error ended the day.
-Stephany Purdue now has 1,601 kills in her record-breaking career. She also tied a career-high with four aces, set twice before.
-Sophomore Sarah Bell moved into the No. 7 spot on Southern Miss' career assists record list (2,530).
-Natalie Druhan's 25 digs tied a career-high (Sept. 6, 2016 at hometown South Alabama).
-Kylie Grandy has produced double-doubles (15 kills, 12 digs) in three consecutive matches. Her dozen on the year ranks third in C-USA.
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