Aug. 23, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss volleyball team opens the 2012 season and home slate, playing host to Central Arkansas, Louisiana Tech and South Alabama this weekend in the Southern Miss Invitational in Reed Green Coliseum.
The tournament gets underway at 11 a.m., Friday with South Alabama taking on Central Arkansas followed by Central Arkansas and Louisiana Tech at 3 p.m. USM and South Alabama conclude the at 7 p.m. Action resumes on Saturday at 11 a.m. with Southern Miss and Central Arkansas followed by South Alabama and Louisiana Tech at 3 p.m. and the Golden Eagles and Louisiana Tech wrap up the tournament play at 7 p.m.
Season tickets are still available. Single match tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth.
Head Coach Abbey Sutherland enters her third season at the helm as she returns eight letterwinners led by seniors Halie Ecker and Elizabeth Rinaudo. Southern Miss looks to improve on its 17-15 record from a year ago. Ecker finished second on the team in kills last season with 316 while Rinaudo collected 326 digs.
Southern Miss opens with South Alabama with first serve at 7 p.m. on Aug. 24. South Alabama is coming off an 11-17 season and returns eight letterwinners. The Jaguars leads the overall series 21-19 dating back to 1980. Head Coach Amy Hendrickovsky is in her first season. South Alabama returns its top kill-leader in Melissa Waelter (2.57 kills per set) and top dig leader Jenna Hassell (3.68 digs per set). Also returning is setter Katariina Kananen (9.85 sets per set).
Southern Miss will face Central Arkansas at 11 a.m. to open Saturday's tournament play. UCA is coming off a 17-15 record as Head Coach David McFatrich enters his second. The Bears return 10 letterwinners and all six starters. UCA won the only meeting between the two teams in 2007. Jessica Nagy is the top returning kill leader with a 2.66 kill per set average while Beth Rogers is tops in digs with 209. Marissa Collins is back to guide the offense after averaging 10.39 assists per set.
The Golden Eagles will conclude with a matchup against Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. Louisiana Tech finished the 2011 season with a 10-22 record. Head Coach Anriano De Souza enters his first season at the helm and returns 10 letterwinners. Clara Vido is the top kill leader with a 2.57 per set average while Stephany Salas is the top dig leader after averaging 4.62 digs per set last season.
Fans can follow the action through GameTracker on SouthernMiss.com.