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Volleyball Makes Long-Awaited Return to Hattiesburg Friday

Sept. 29, 2016

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Thirty days later, Southern Miss Volleyball is set to play in front of a home crowd.

The Golden Eagles (12-5, 1-1 C-USA) have had quite the run since sweeping Southern inside Reed Green Coliseum on Aug. 30 and will look to replicate that success Friday at 6 p.m. versus Marshall. It was the longest stretch away from home since 2011.

Southern Miss last weekend won 3-1 at North Texas on Friday before losing at UTSA. Sarah Bell, a San Antonio native, picked up 38 assists in that Sunday match to move her over 2,000 for her career and just 33 away from being ninth all-time at the school. Bell last season against Marshall had six kills and no errors for a whopping .750 hitting percentage.

Stephany Purdue, who needs 111 kills to break the Southern Miss kills record, has had a lot of success in her career against Marshall. She had 13 kills against the Herd last year and 19 as a sophomore in 2014. The team's 48 kills in the 2015 sweep marked its most in any three-set match of the year, and it came on the road. Southern Miss' win in Huntington also came after back-to-back road defeats in Texas.

Purdue's 4.05 kills per set rank third in C-USA, while Sarah Bell's 663 total assists are No. 5 in the country. Catherine Repsher's outstanding freshman season has continued with her holding a third-place stance in blocks per set (1.2).

Southern Miss' .245 hitting percentage ranks third in C-USA and is also the team's highest mark since the 2003 season, when that squad went 27-5.

Marshall possesses an 11-9 lead in the all-time series, but Southern Miss has won the last four meetings.

The Herd (13-4, 2-0 C-USA) enter the weekend with wins in nine of their last 10 matches, including sweeps over Charlotte and Middle Tennessee to begin league play. They also knocked off West Virginia earlier in the year and won a set versus No. 7 Florida.

Marshall leads the league with a .174 opponent hitting percentage. Madison Hill (1.5 blocks/set) and Allie Kellerman (6.0 digs/set) each lead C-USA in those league-match only categories. Hill's .475 hitting percentage includes a .630 clip in league play.

Fans can follow the game via @SouthernMissVB on twitter, as well as through Gametracker and the live video feed on

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