HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Miss volleyball team will hit the road, playing in its final in-season tournament when the Golden Eagles travel to Memphis for the Tiger Invitational, Sept. 18-19. The Golden Eagles (12-1) will take on Mississippi State (7-3) on Friday at 4 p.m. The Black and Gold continues play on Saturday facing host Memphis at 2 p.m. and concludes with Austin Peay at 5 p.m.
Golden Eagle Volleyball Soars Past Mississippi State in Three
Redshirt junior Ashley Mell pounded down a match-high 19 kills and sophomore Halie Ecker chipped in 12 in leading Southern Miss past in-state rival Mississippi 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-18).
Stephany Purdue leads the team offensively with a 4.33 kills per set average as Sarah Bell guides the offense with a 9.59 assist per set average. Pursell leads the team defensively on the back row to the tune of 4.46 digs per set while Elise Ames is the top blocker with a 1.48 per set average. Grandy also leads the team in 19 aces.
SCOUTING THE TOURNAMENT FIELD
Mississippi State enters the weekend with a 7-3 record. Evie Grace Singleton leads the team offensively with a 3.47 kill average on a .189 hitting clip. Blossom Sato guides the offense with 10.16 assists per set. Payton Harris is tops on the team in digs with 4.38 digs per set. As a team, the Bulldogs are averaging 12.56 kills on .220 hitting, 13.44 digs and 2.22 team blocks.
Memphis owns a 7-3 record. Catlin Lilly leads the team with 3.41 kills per set. Veronica Zimmerman is in charge of the setting duties for the Tigers, averaging 9.44 per set. Mady Ruhlman leads the team in digs with 4.20 per set. As a team, the Tigers are averaging 13.09 kills on a .243 hitting clip, 15.54 digs and 1.71 team blocks.
Austin Peay enters the weekend with a 4-8 record. Ashley Slay leads the Governors with 2.66 kills per set. Kristen Stucker guides the offense with 9.44 assists per set. April Adams leads the team in digs with 4.20 per set. As a team, the Governors are averaging 11.71 kills per set on .170 hitting, 14.48 digs and 1.71 team blocks.
SERIES RECORD AGAINST THE FIELD
This is the 54th meeting between Southern Miss and Mississippi State. The Bulldogs lead the overall series 41-13, dating back to the 1979 season. Southern Miss and Memphis have played 42 times previously. The Tigers lead the overall series 24-18. This is just the third meeting between Southern Miss and Austin Peay. The series is tied 1-1.
Southern Miss opens Conference USA play at Louisiana Tech on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.
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