Sept. 20, 2012
HATTIEBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss volleyball team returns to Reed Green Coliseum to host Tulane in the Conference USA opener on Friday at 7 p.m., after spending the last three weeks on the road. The Golden Eagles then will travel to play at UTEP on Sunday.
The Golden Eagles enter the contest with a 4-8 record after finishing 1-2 in the SFA Filly Filmore's Invitational. Elizabeth Rinaudo was named to the all-tournament team after her three-match performance.
A trio of Golden Eagles is averaging 3.00 kills per set led by Lydia Bonner at 3.79 followed by Halie Ecker at 3.43 and Jasmine Crowell at 3.20. Rinaudo paces the team in digs with a 4.39 per set average while Crowell, Rachel Johnson and Quinci Hayward are tops on the team in blocking. Kristen Fleming is giving out 10.83 assists per set. As a team, USM is averaging 13.27 kills on .213 hitting, 15.00 digs and 1.90 blocks per set.
Tulane is 3-9 on the year after winning two of three matches last weekend. Cori Martone leads the Green Wave in kills with a 4.08 per set average. Azarri Badawi is tops on the team in digs with a 3.47 average with Martone right behind at 3.19. Mel Mandelbaum is handing out 7.98 assists per set. As a time, Tulane is averaging 12.29 kills on .189 hitting, 14.71 digs and 1.71 blocks per set.
This is the 57th meeting between USM and Tulane with the Green Wave leading the series 47-9. The series dates back to the 1981 season.
Following the Southern Miss-Tulane matchup, the Golden Eagles will take to the road for a match at UTEP on Sunday.
UTEP is 5-7 and 0-1 in league play after dropping its conference opener to Tulane last weekend at the Kathy Trosclair Memorial Tournament. Jeane Horton leads the Miners in kills with a team-high 188 for a 4.37 per set average on .330 hitting. Malia Patterson guides the offense as she is averaging 10.40 assists and 2.53 digs per set. Victoria Valencia paces the defense with 3.77 digs per set. As a team, the Miners are averaging 13.21 kills on .236 hitting, 13.67 digs and 2.37 blocks per set.
This will be the 11th meeting between USM and UTEP as the Golden Eagles lead the all-time series 7-3 dating back to 1995.
Following the UTEP match, The Golden Eagles travel to East Carolina (Sept. 28) and Marshall (Sept. 30).