Southern Miss preps for C-USA Championships opener Friday
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Thirty matches down, hopefully several more to go for the Southern Miss volleyball team. The Golden Eagles are set to take on Rice, Friday at 2 p.m., on the WKU campus to begin the C-USA Championships.
Fans can watch the action on CUSA.tv, and stats are available here.
This is the third consecutive year that Southern Miss (sixth seed) and Rice (third) have squared off on this stage. It was the Black and Gold that emerged victorious in a 2015 tilt in San Antonio, but the Owls got revenge with a five-set win in the 2016 semifinals on their home floor.
It has only been 11 days since these two teams last played, with Rice winning 3-1 in Houston. It was an impressive defensive display, but the Owls (who enter the tournament with the best opposing hitting percentage at .170) out-performed the Golden Eagles .181 to .080. Kylie Grandy had 14 kills and three aces, and Chandler Marshall and Catherine Repsher each posted double-digit kills.
This week, Grandy, Marshall and Sarah Bell all earned All-Conference accolades, while Bell added an Academic All-Conference honor to her resume.
The Golden Eagles (19-11, 9-5 C-USA) are coming off of back-to-back sweeps of LA Tech and FIU to close out the regular season, and a victory on Friday would give them their fourth consecutive 20-win season.
Kelsey Chambers and Natalie Druhan are the all-time winningest senior class in program history. More insight on their careers, on and off the court, can be found here (Chambers) and here (Druhan).
Rice (21-7, 11-3 C-USA) defeated UTSA in five sets for its only match last weekend. The Owls' three league losses came to the top-two seeds in North Texas and WKU as well as to UTEP in the opener, who did not qualify for the tournament.
Rice boasts five All-Conference performers, led by first-team middle blocker Grace Morgan, which ranked the best in C-USA. Last season, Southern Miss had five of its own on that list.
Friday, Nov. 17 – Noon – WKU vs. Charlotte | CUSA.tv
Friday, Nov. 17 – 2 p.m. – Rice vs. Southern Miss | CUSA.tv
Friday, Nov. 17 – 5 p.m. – North Texas vs. Marshall | CUSA.tv
Friday, Nov. 17 – 7 p.m. – UTSA vs. Florida Atlantic | CUSA.tv
Saturday, Nov. 18 – 1:30 p.m. – WKU/Charlotte vs. Rice/Southern Miss | CUSA.tv
Saturday, Nov. 18 – 4 p.m. – North Texas/Marshall vs. UTSA/Florida Atlantic | CUSA.tv
Sunday, Nov. 19 – Noon – Championship Match | ESPN3
All fans are encouraged to park in Parking Structure 2 located between Houchens Industries L.T. Smith Stadium and E.A. Diddle Arena. Parking will be free but may be limited due to the WKU Football vs. Middle Tennessee game taking place Friday night as well.
Fans can purchase tickets at the door for the C-USA Volleyball Championship or online at WKUTickets.com. Several options are available including adult all-session passes for $20 and child all-session passes for just $10. Single day tickets are available as well for the rate of $10 for adults and $5 for children. Conference USA students will receive free admission when showing their ID for their respective institution.
Doors will open one hour before matches start each day: 11 a.m. Friday, 12:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday. Seating will be grouped into sections based on teams competing and will be marked.
Conference USA Volleyball Championship apparel will be available for purchase during all three days of competition inside E.A. Diddle Arena.