HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Miss volleyball team continues its Conference USA journey Friday night when it hosts Louisiana Tech at 6 p.m. inside Reed Green Coliseum.
The Golden Eagles (14-6, 3-2 C-USA) are coming off a Sunday sweep of UTEP that also produced one of their best offensive performances in recent history. The .324 hitting percentage was Southern Miss' highest in a league match since Nov. 1, 2013 versus East Carolina. Chanel Joyce produced a career-high 14 kills for the second consecutive outing and made no errors in the latter one of those. Her .700 hitting percentage there marked the third-highest in the conference this season and was the highest by a Golden Eagle since Elise Ames (.750 versus Georgia) in 2014.
Sarah Bell earned C-USA Co-Setter of the Week honors for her role in the team's performance. She also leads the league with 12.00 assists per set in C-USA matches only. Also in those contests, Stephany Purdue ranks third in kills (3.82/set), Natalie Druhan is fifth for digs (4.06) and Kylie Grandy and Catherine Repsher also hold top-10 spots for service aces and blocks.
Southern Miss has defeated Louisiana Tech all five matches since the Lady Techsters joined C-USA in 2013 and have won eight straight since 2009 for a 13-3 head-to-head record.
Kelsey Chambers had a career-high 15 kills when the two teams faced off in Ruston, La., last September in the conference opener. Purdue had 17 kills in the most recent match between the teams, a 3-2 decision in Hattiesburg, where Chambers also took home 10 kills.
Louisiana Tech (10-11, 1-4 C-USA) posted a 3-1 victory over Middle Tennessee on Oct. 7. It also swept Grambling on Wednesday. Head coach Adriana de Souza also earned his bachelor's degree from Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Sao Paulo, Brazil, while Southern Miss grad assistant Carlos Moreno was the head coach at University of Sao Paulo from 2000-02.
The Lady Techsters lead C-USA in digs per set (16.34) and rank fourth in opponent hitting percentage (.192). Angela Papach, Brooke Short and Alejandra Aviles all rank in the C-USA top ten for kills, assists and digs, respectively.
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