Sept. 13, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss volleyball team looks to extend its two-match winning streak when the Golden Eagles travel to Nacogdoches, Texas for the SFA Invitational for their final in-season tournament, Sept. 14-15.
Southern Miss (3-6) opens the tournament against Robert Morris at 2 p.m., Friday, followed by a 10 a.m. match Saturday against Northwestern State and will conclude with Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m.
The Golden Eagles are coming off a second-place finish at the UTA Hilton Classic after posting wins over Marist and UT Arlington. Sophomore Jasmine Crowell earned all-tournament honors. Freshman Lydia Bonner paces the team offensively averaging 3.81 kills per set with senior Halie Ecker and Crowell right behind at 3.69 and 3.10 kps. Kristen Fleming is averaging 11.00 assists per set while senior Elizabeth Rinaudo leads the team in digs with 4.17 per set average. As a team, USM is averaging 13.30 kills on .215 hitting percentage while averaging 14.57 digs per set.
Robert Morris comes in with a 4-8 record after a 3-2 win over West Virginia Tuesday. Lindsey Monger leads the team in kills and digs, averaging 3.67 kills and 3.65 digs per set. Hannah Hoffman is giving out 7.10 assists per set while Erica Robb is averaging 3.05 digs per set. As a team, Colonials are averaging 10.75 kills and 14.88 digs per set with a team blocking of 1.62 per set.
Northwestern State is 6-4 on the year. Stacey DiFrancesco and Mackenzie Neely have tallied 94 and 92 kills, respectively. Keelie Arneson is averaging 4.67 digs per set while Emily Sweet is handing out 9.50 assists per set. As a team, the Lady Demons are averaging 11.94 kills and 14.58 digs per set while hitting .152.
Stephen F. Austin comes in with a 7-3 record. A trio of Ladyjacks pace the offensive effort as Jill Ivy, Sabrina Burns and Tori Bates are averaging over 2.25 kills per set. Paige Holland is averaging 9.35 assists and Madison Hanlan is coming up with 4.85 digs per set. As a team, SFA is averaging 12.02 kills and 16.88 digs per set while hitting .143.
This is the first meeting between Southern Miss and Robert Morris. Northwestern State and Southern Miss have met 13 times including last weekend. The Lady Demons defeated USM 3-0 in the UTA Hilton Classic. Southern Miss leads the series 11-2. Stephen F. Austin leads the series with USM 4-3.
Following the SFA Invitational, Southern Miss returns home for the first time since Aug. 25 to open Conference USA play against Tulane, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.