Purdue Surpasses 1,500-Kill Milestone as Offense Explodes for Sweep
Purdue closes in on record as Southern Miss has best C-USA offensive showing since 2013
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Stephany Purdue moved within 59 kills of breaking the school's all-time career record, and the Southern Miss volleyball team rolled to a sweep (25-16, 25-22, 25-22) of Middle Tennessee on Friday night.
"Overall we did some good things," head coach Amanda Berkley said. "There are still some things we need to work on. Kylie Grandy had a great match [led everyone with 14 kills] and hit well on the outside. Cat Repsher did a great job putting balls away and had a great hitting percentage. We have to work on some things for Sunday to get ready for FAU, but we are happy for the win."
Southern Miss (16-6, 5-2 C-USA) also hit .371 as a team, the highest in C-USA competition since a .478 showing on Nov. 1, 2013 versus East Carolina. The Golden Eagles' .324 mark at UTEP on Oct. 9 previously held that feat.
The action was kicked off by Purdue recording her milestone kill and Natalie Druhan collecting a service ace. The lead elevated to 10-4, but a spurt by the Blue Raiders forced Southern Miss to call a timeout leading 14-11. The Golden Eagles still clung to their 16-14 lead before posting a 9-2 run to close it out. Grandy produced a set-high seven kills to create the charge.
The second set saw Southern Miss again start off strong, taking on a 9-5 advantage. Back-to-back Grandy and Purdue kills preceded a Blue Raider attack error, and the home squad called a timeout with a 15-9 deficit. It worked, as Middle Tennessee got within 18-16. Four consecutive kills halted any momentum, however, and Purdue closed out the 25-22 victory with one more of her own.
The Golden Eagles had to stop play early in the third set after trailing 7-2. The margin got up to 10-3, but they were far from backing down. A 10-3 run knotted things back up at 13, and Southern Miss would not fall behind again after Repsher's kill made it a 15-14 score. The last three points for the Golden Eagles came via a Sarah Bell kill and two more by Purdue.
Southern Miss will continue its road journey Sunday with a noon CT matchup at Florida Atlantic.
-Kylie Grandy's 14 kills were two off a season-high and her most in a three-set match.
-Grandy's .522 hitting percentage was the second-best of her career (.611 versus Grambling).
-Catherine Repsher's .588 mark is still only the runner-up for her best C-USA outing (.615 at North Texas).
-Sarah Bell's 41 assists were one off her most for a three-set match (42 versus UTEP and UMKC this year).
-The .371 hitting percentage was Southern Miss' third-best performance of the year (behind Southern and Grambling wins).