HOUSTON, Texas - Southern Miss overcame a slow start in the opening set at the Tudor Fieldhouse Friday night to defeat North Texas 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21) in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA volleyball championships on the Rice campus.
The No. 2 seeded Golden Eagles improved to 23-7 as they captured their seventh match in a row and advanced to play host and six-seeded Rice in the semifinals at 5 p.m., Saturday. North Texas, the No. 7 seed, ended their season at 13-17.
After dropping the first set in which the closest they were in the game was tied at 2-2, the Golden Eagles rallied in game two by putting together a .415 hitting attack with 20 kills against just three errors in 41 attempts.
With the score tied at 20-20, the Golden Eagles scored the final five points of the set that included three Mean Green attack errors and a Makareta Rademakers ace on game point to even the match.
The Golden Eagles raced out to a big lead in game three, holding an 18-8 advantage at one point, before North Texas rallied to cut the gap to 23-22. The Golden Eagles then took advantage of a missed attack and a service error to capture the game and take a lead in the match.
Southern Miss then had to rally late in game four to end the match. Down 20-17 in the deciding game, the Golden Eagles allowed just one more point down the stretch scoring eight of the final nine points of the match. Rademakers served another ace, this time at match point, to allow the higher seed to advance.
North Texas got a match-high 22 kills from Holly Milam along with 17 from Amanda Chamberlain.
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