Southern Miss Volleyball Sets Program Record with Five All-Conference Picks

Nov. 16, 2016

IRVING, Texas -- It was a banner regular season for the Southern Miss volleyball team, and it got even better with the news that five Golden Eagles earned All-Conference USA honors.

Stephany Purdue and Sarah Bell each made the first team, while Chanel Joyce, Kylie Grandy and Catherine Repsher placed on the second. It marks the most league honors in a season in program history, topping the 2009 outright C-USA Champs' four.

Repsher also made the All-Freshman Team, making Southern Miss the most-represented team in the league.

"I am so proud of this team and the players that were honored with all-conference awards," head coach Amanda Berkley said. "To have five recognized just shows how balanced a team we have been this year."

Bell has already climbed to No. 7 on Southern Miss' all-time assists list with 2,530. She ended her regular season ranked No. 9 nationally with 11.43 assists per set and topped C-USA in league matches-only. The sophomore proved to be lethal on the attack as well, posting a team-high .319 hitting percentage. Included in that mark was a flawless 8-for-8 hitting percentage as the Golden Eagles swept UAB on Nov. 4. She has surpassed the 50-assist mark seven times this season with 15 in her young career.

Purdue broke the program's all-time kills record in the third and ultimately-deciding set against Rice as the team rallied from an 0-2 deficit for the win. She now has 1,601 in her storied career after also earning All-C-USA honors in 2015. The Mesa, Ariz., native had 27 kills at LSU in a 3-1 win back in September and ranks fifth in the league for kills per set (3.87).

"Sarah has been outstanding all year at the setter position," Berkley said. "She is a leader for us and I'm really happy for her to be honored on the first team. Stephany has been a fantastic leader for us and I'm so proud of her being on that first team as well. She is so deserving of this honor and worked hard all four years to be a fantastic outside in this conference."

Grandy concludes her sophomore regular season in the top-30 nationally for service aces per set (0.43). Included in that run was a five-ace night against Tulane back in the opening weekend and multiple more in six of the final seven matches. Her last three matches saw her finish with season-highs of 16 kills in wins over Rice and Louisiana Tech before tallying 15 more at FIU. Grandy made the All-Freshman Team last year.

Fifty-seven percent of Joyce's kills this season came in C-USA action. The senior from San Mateo, Calif., absolutely blew up on the scene in her final collegiate lap. She had a career-high 14 kills against No. 25 WKU and came right back with her best performance of the season, a 14-kill, no-error day at UTEP. That .700 hitting percentage was the highest by a Golden Eagle in over two years.

Repsher, a four-time C-USA Freshman of the Week (most in award's history), came on very strong in her first college athletics adventure, posting career-highs of 14 kills in her first (McNeese State) and third (Tulane) matches while doing the same against No. 25 Kansas State. That McNeese match also saw her amass a personal-best 10 total blocks. The Carl Junction, Mo., native finished the regular season No. 3 in league play with 1.12 blocks per set.

"I'm really proud of Chanel for earning second-team all-conference in her senior year," Berkley said. "She has really played with confidence this season, and I am happy she could be recognized. Kylie had a phenomenal year as a six rotation player for us and showed that though undersized, she can compete with anyone in the league. Cat had a great freshman year leading our team in blocks and being a go-to attacker at times. She has been one of the premier freshmen in this league.

"We're so proud of all of them and excited for the weekend ahead!"

The Golden Eagles (22-7, 11-3 C-USA) return to action on Friday for the first round of the C-USA Tournament. They will face North Texas at 7 p.m. in Houston. Ticket info for the weekend is available here.

2016 CONFERENCE USA VOLLEYBALL POSTSEASON AWARDS

FIRST TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
Abbi Reid, Florida Atlantic
Maja Ristic, Florida Atlantic
Allie Kellerman, Marshall
Ally Kiekover, Marshall
Amanda Chamberlain, North Texas
Holly Milam, North Texas
Sarah Bell, Southern Miss
Stephany Purdue, Southern Miss
Chelsey Harris, Rice
Madison McDaniel, Rice
Dajana Boskovic, UTSA
Rachel Anderson, WKU
Alyssa Cavanaugh, WKU
Jessica Lucas, WKU

SECOND TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
Katie Hogan, FIU
Madison Hill, Marshall
Leah Mikesky, Rice
Portia Okafor, Rice
Kylie Grandy, Southern Miss
Chanel Joyce, Southern Miss
Catherine Repsher, Southern Miss
Lindsey Larson, UTEP
Sarah Villa, UTEP
Marijeta Runjic, UTSA
Sydney Engle, WKU
Georgia O'Connell, WKU

ALL-FRESHMAN
Sigourney Kame, Florida Atlantic
Madelyn Cole, Marshall
Madison Hill, Marshall
Jac'cara Walker, Marshall
Emma Eakin, North Texas
Lee Ann Cunningham, Rice
Catherine Repsher, Southern Miss
Macey Austin, UTEP

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