HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss volleyball team gets ready for its final home matches this weekend when the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky and the Owls of Florida Atlantic visit Reed Green Coliseum.
Friday's match is set for 7 p.m. It's also faculty and Staff Appreciation Night. Buy one get one free ticket special for all Southern Miss Faculty and Staff with their ID. Let's SAAC Hunger Week begins as fans can donate five or more canned food items and receive a ticket to a game during the Lady Eagle Basketball Thanksgiving Classic.
SOUTHERN MISS PREVIEW
Southern Miss enters the weekend with a 19-10 record and 8-4 in Conference USA play after a split weekend against UTEP and UTSA last weekend.
Stephany Purdue and Quinci Hayward continue to lead the Golden Eagles offensively, averaging 3.23 and 3.19 kills per set, respectively, while Jasmine Crowell is next at 2.93 kills per set. Kristen Fleming guides the offense after averaging 9.38 assists per set. Mary Pursell continues to lead the team in digs with a 4.40 per set average while Crowell leads the team in total blocks with 98. As a team, USM is averaging 14.07 kills, 1.17 aces, 15.01 digs and 2.00 team blocks per set.
A LOOK AT WESTERN KENTUCKY
Western Kentucky comes into the match with a 23-5 record and 11-1 in the league for a solid second-place standing. Three Hilltoppers have accumulated over 200 kills, led by Alyssa Cavanaugh with 299 for a 3.15 per set average. Heather Boyan and Noelle Langenkamp are next with 250 and 226 kills, respectively. Jessica Lucas guides the offense as she averages 10.7 assists per set average. Georgia O'Connell leads her team with a 4.34 digs per set. As a team, WKU is averaging 13.9 kills on .277 hitting, 14.73 digs and 2.50 team blocks per set.
SERIES RECORD AGAINST the HILLTOPPERS
This is just the second meeting between USM and Western Kentucky. The team first met on Sept. 28, 1988. The Golden Eagles lead series record at 1-0.
A LOOK AT FLORIDA ATLANTIC
Florida Atlantic is 17-8 overall prior to a match with Marshall and 8-4 in league play. As a team, Florida Atlantic is averaging 13.37 kills per set on .224 hitting, 15.59 digs per set and 2.09 team blocks per set. The Owls use a balanced offensive attack as six players have recorded over 100 kills. Brittney Brown leads the group, averaging 2.69 kills per set with Katrina Stepanovic next at 2.45. Genesis Viera runs the offense and is averaging 10.47 assists per set, while Liene Mellupe and Nathalie Rosado pace the team with 3.30 and 3.20 digs per set, respectively.
SERIES RECORD AGAINST THE OWLS
This is the fourth meeting between the two teams. Southern Miss holds a 2-1 advantage in the series. The Owls claimed an earlier victory this season.
Southern Miss will close out the regular season on the road with matches at UAB on Friday (Nov. 14) and at Charlotte (Nov. 16).
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