Volleyball prepares for Sunday matchup at North Texas
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The road trip started well with a Friday sweep of Charlotte, and now the Southern Miss volleyball team flies to the Lone Star State for a battle with North Texas, Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
The action will also air on CUSA.tv.
North Texas is off to a torrid 21-2 start to the season. Its only loss was to Southern Miss in the C-USA opener on Sept. 22, which snapped a school-record 11-match win streak. The Golden Eagles' final decision was 26-24, 25-27, 25-20, 23-25, 15-13.
Southern Miss (16-9, 6-3 C-USA) is tied for fourth with UTSA. North Texas (21-2, 8-1 C-USA) is second to WKU. The Mean Green are coming off an impressive 3-1 win over Rice on Friday night, an Owl squad that entered 18-5, 8-1 in C-USA.
In that Sept. 22 matchup, Sarah Bell fed her hitters to a tune of 75 assists, the most by a Golden Eagle since at least 2000. Only seven times since the start of the millennium has a Golden Eagle surpassed 70. On Friday night against the 49ers, Bell posted 46 assists, her most in a three-setter this year, to cross the 1,000-plateau for the third consecutive season. Her 11.58 assists/set in league play rank third.
Kylie Grandy and Chandler Marshall each had 25 kills in the Sept. 22 win over North Texas, with Grandy also adding a pair of service aces. Natalie Druhan had a career-high 27 digs.
Southern Miss is going for its fifth consecutive win over North Texas. It won 3-1 in each of the three 2016 meetings. It will be a big test for the defense, which has held its last five opponents to sub-.200 marks, most notably a meager -.132 mark for Middle Tennessee a week prior. The Mean Green, conversely, are hitting .301 since C-USA play began with a league-best 15.26 kills per set.
Golden Eagle head coach Amanda Berkley collected her 100th-career win, all at Southern Miss, on Friday night. With a 100-56 record, she has the top winning percentage in program history.