Southern Miss hosts Florida Atlantic in Sunday volleyball action
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Fresh off its third consecutive sweep, the Southern Miss volleyball team now sets its eyes toward Sunday's noon battle against a talented Florida Atlantic team inside Reed Green Coliseum.
The match will air on CUSA.tv and The Score 1400 AM in Hattiesburg. The two big fan promotions for the day are Daddy/Daughter Day and breast cancer awareness, with pink shirt giveaways for fans to serve the latter.
The Golden Eagles are now 37-7 at home since the start of 2014 after a dominant sweep of Middle Tennessee Friday. The Blue Raiders were held to just a -.132 hitting percentage, the lowest allowed by Southern Miss since Alcorn in 2009. It had not held a conference foe to a mark that low since before 2000. The team even built up a 22-4 lead in the third set. In Monday's match, the Golden Eagles' last time on the floor, the squad had a 12-0 run in the second set on UTEP.
Sarah Bell continued her rapid ascent through the program's record books by moving into fourth all-time in assists on Friday. She now has 3,540 to her name, passing Kristen Fleming (2011-14). Next up is Charlotte Harris, who had 3,927 from 1989-92. Bell is also hitting a lean .391 on the year, including having kills on each of her first three attacks against Middle Tennessee.
When the two teams met in 2016, the Owls defended their home floor and snapped Southern Miss' three-game win streak. Kylie Grandy was fantastic on both sides of the floor, posting 13 kills and 16 digs, and since-graduated Chanel Joyce had 16 kills with a .406 hitting percentage.
Oddly enough, Southern Miss was 16-6, 5-2 in C-USA going into the FAU match last season. Going into Sunday's bout, the Black and Gold are 15-8, 5-2 in C-USA and also coming off a three-game win streak.
FAU (12-7, 3-4 C-USA) has faced a difficult schedule all season. The Owls have also been nipped in a few five-setters to strong teams, like WKU, Rice and Miami, who the Golden Eagles also faced in their opening tournament.
This season, the Owls have hit 32 points better than last season, with transfer setter Ivone Martinez serving as a big reason why. She is the national leader in assists/set as of Oct. 19.