HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Miss volleyball team will look to keep up its winning ways Tuesday night, when it makes the 90-mile trip southeast to Mobile to face South Alabama.
The Golden Eagles (6-1) come into the match as winners of four straight. They took care of Southern on Tuesday (3-0) and then proceeded to sweep Virginia and UConn on Friday at the Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge. It set the stage for Saturday afternoon's tilt against LSU, where a 3-1 win concluded the fantastic week.
The weekend also saw Southern Miss record its sixth tournament sweep under head coach Amanda Berkley in her four years at the school. The Golden Eagles had never faced UConn or Virginia prior, and the LSU match was the first since 2000 and only win in seven all-time meetings.
Stephany Purdue continued her torrid senior year with Tournament MVP honors. She had 27 kills and 16 digs in the finale, with the former being the most by any Golden Eagle since Quinci Hayward tied the school record of 31 in Nov. 2013. The senior from Mesa, Ariz., is 251 kills away from tying the school career record.
The 16 digs each by Purdue and Natalie Druhan against LSU were the most by any Golden Eagle on the year.
Purdue's 4.44 kills per set rank first in C-USA, while her .399 hitting percentage is fifth. Kylie Grandy leads the C-USA pack in service aces (0.64 per set) and has recorded one in 10 consecutive matches. The freshman Catherine Repsher is second in total blocks (1.35 per set) and eighth in hitting percentage (.353).
About the Series
The two teams faced each other on Sept. 29, 2015, with Southern Miss prevailing in five sets after a 2-1 deficit. Purdue posted 26 kills and Mary Pursell recorded 23 digs. The Jags have a 22-20 edge in the all-time series.
USA enters the matchup 5-1 after a sweep of their own Jaguar Invitational. The home team swept the field against Southeastern Louisiana (3-2), FIU (3-0) and Florida A&M (3-1). Iva Durdanovic and Sarah Richardson have been the team's top offensive weapons.
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