Nov. 1, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss volleyball team gets ready for its final road matches this weekend when the Golden Eagles travel to Rice on Nov. 2 and to Houston on Nov. 4.
Southern Miss Preview
Southern Miss enters the weekend with an 8-16 record and 4-8 in Conference USA play after a pair of wins against Marshall and East Carolina last weekend.
Halie Ecker now leads the Golden Eagles offensively, averaging 3.23 kills per set while Jasmine Crowell is next at 3.00 kills per set. Kristen Fleming guides the offense after averaging 10.33 assists per set. Elizabeth Rinaudo continues to lead the team in digs with a 4.42 per set average while Crowell leads the team in total blocks with 87. As a team, USM is averaging 12.51 kills, 14.61 digs and 1.96 team blocks per set.
Heading into the weekend, Halie Ecker needs just 28 kills to join the 1,000-kill club. Elizabeth Rinaudo needs only seven digs to reach 1,000 in her career.
Southern Miss has several players ranking in the top 20 among Conference USA leaders in statistical categories. Middle Blocker Jasmine Crowell ranks among the leaders in hitting percentage, kills, blocks and points. Senior Halie Ecker ranks among the leaders in kills and points while freshman Lydia Bonner ranks among the leaders in kills and senior Elizabeth Rinaudo ranks in the top six in digs per set. Sophomore Kristen Fleming ranks among the leaders in assists per set.
A Look at Rice
Rice comes into the match with a 16-10 record and sits at second in the league with a 9-3 record. Six Blazers have accumulated over 100 kills, led by Nancy Cole with 334 for a 5.59 per set average. Jillian Humphrey and Laurie McNamara are next with 233 and 223 kills, respectively. Megan Murphy guides the offense as she averages 11.03 assists per set average. Five Owls have recorded 200 or more digs as Daniela Arenas leads her team with a 3.76 per set average. As a team, Rice is averaging 14.03 kills on .231 hitting, 17.01 digs and 2.23 team blocks per set.
Series Record Against the Owls
This is the 13th meeting between USM and Rice in a series dating back to 1991. Rice leads the overall series, 9-3.
A Look at Houston
Houston is 7-15 overall prior to a match with UCF and 6-6 in league play. As a team, Houston is averaging 11.79 kill on .178 hitting, 15.00 digs per set and 2.07 team blocks per set. The Cougars use a balanced offensive attack as four players have recorded over 100 kills. Katie Norris leads the group, averaging 3.87 kills per set with Chandace Tryon at 2.72. Abby Simmons runs the offense and is averaging 8.99 assists per set, while Natalie Keck paces the team with 3.93 digs per set.
Series Record Against the Cougars
This will be the 26th meeting between Southern Miss and Houston in a series dating back to 1992. Houston leads the overall series with USM 19-6.
Southern Miss will close out the regular season at home with a pair of matches against Memphis on Nov. 9 and UAB on Nov. 11. Halie Ecker and Elizabeth Rinaudo will be honored in a Senior Day ceremony following the UAB match.