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Rice Rallies To Defeat Southern Miss in Five

Kelsea Seymour recorded her second career triple double

Nov. 18, 2011

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss placed five players in double digit kills but it wasn't enough to hold off Rice as the Owls defeated the Golden Eagles 3-2 (16-25, 25-13, 22-25, 25-17, 17-15) in Conference USA action Friday night.

Southern Miss falls to 15-15 overall and 9-9 in league play while Rice improved to 17-12 and 12-6.

Senior Ashley Mell recorded a match-high 20 kills for Southern Miss followed by sophomore Halie Ecker with 14, Amelia Hendrickson had 12 and Sarah Jane Bowden chipped in 10 kills. Senior Kelsea Seymour registered her second career triple double with 55 assists, a match-high 23 digs and 11 kills. Lisa Knecht picked up 19 digs while Hendrickson collected 15 digs for a double-double and Elizabeth Rinaudo and Mell had 14 digs apiece. Mell also finished with a double-double.

Jillian Humphrey paced the Owls with 17 kills while Nancy Cole and Mariah Riddlesprigger tallied 13 kills each and Laurie McNamara added 11. Megan While came up with 21 digs with Daniela Arenas and Riddlesprigger getting 13 each, Megan Murphy had 12 digs to go with 54 assists and Dana Edwards added 10 digs.

Southern Miss took the opening set thanks to a .475 hitting clip. The Golden Eagles tallied 23 kills while Rice put down only 11 as USM won 25-16.

Rice came back in the second set and ran out to a 6-3 lead and never looked back. The Owls finished the set with a .515 attack percentage on 17 kills in 33 attempts and did not commit a single attack error. Cole, Humphrey and McNamara had five kills apiece. Cole also added three total blocks as Rice took the second set, 25-13.

The third set was much closer as both teams battled back and forth. There were six ties and two lead changes. Both teams recorded 16 kills each. With the set tied at 21-21 Mell put down a kill then combined with Bowden for a big block to give USM a 23-21 lead. After the Rice timeout, Mell put down the final two kills in helping the Eagles take a 25-22 win.

Rice finished set four with a .424 hitting clip while holding Southern Miss to just .200 in taking the set 25-17 to force a fifth set. Once again the two teams matched each other in kills, but Rice came up big at the net recording seven total blocks and committing only one attack error.

The Owls ran out to a 5-2 lead forcing the Eagles to take a timeout. Southern Miss then rallied in cutting the lead to 7-5 before Rice had to use a timeout. Southern Miss eventually tied the set at 8-8 before an Eagle error and kill form Cole put Rice ahead 10-8. Out of a USM timeout, the teams traded kills before Mell and Hendrickson kills gave the Eagles a 13-12 lead. Out of the Rice timeout, Seymour recorded an ace for set point, but an Eagle error and McNamara knotted the set at 14-14. Rice then got another big block from Humphrey and McNamara for the 15-14 lead, but Mell put down a kill for the Eagles for the tie at 15. Rice ended the set when USM had a kill attempt go long and Humphrey getting the kill for the 17-15 win.

Southern Miss returns to the court on Sunday facing Houston in 1 p.m. match.

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