HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss Mary Pursell added yet another honor to her resume' Thursday when she was named to the 2015 Conference USA All-Academic team. This is her third all-academic honor in her career.
Conference USA has announced the 12-member Volleyball All-Academic Team, as selected by a vote of the league's sports information directors. This year, the squad features a group of student-athletes representing 11 different schools, with Marshall taking home two honors.
Pursell, who owns a 3.86 GPA in accounting, has played in all 33 matches at the Libero position including 132 sets. She has received a C-USA Academic Medal three years while being named to the C-USA Commissioner's List Honor Roll three years as well. She has been on the President's List two times and the Dean's List four times.
The Metairie, La., native was a Preseason C-USA All-Conference selection. She was named back-to-back C-USA Libero of the Year while earning two first Team All-C-USA honors. She was named C-USA Player of the Week three times this season. She recorded 30 or more digs in four matches this season while averaging 5.25 digs per set against C-USA team. She ranks second among C-USA leaders while leading her team in digs. She has tallied 29 matches with 10 or more digs. She moved into second on all-time career digs list with 1,860.
The Golden Eagles will take on Rice in the Conference USA Championship on Friday at 2 p.m. Southern Miss is seeded sixth while Rice is the third seed.
Stephany Purdue continues to pace the team offensively in kills with 502 on the season for a 3.89 per set average. Freshman Kylie Grandy is next with 318 (2.41 kps) kills. Three other Eagles have recorded over 200 kills. Sarah Bell guides the offense with a 9.92 assist per set average. Elise Ames is tops on the team with 1.16 blocks per set.
As a team, Southern Miss is averaging 13.02 kills on .191 hitting, 15.54 digs and 2.19 team blocks.
Rice enters the tournament 21-9. Leah Mikesky and Chelsey Harris lead the team with 3.77 and 3.14 kills per set, respectively. Madison McDaniel guides the offense with 11.09 assists per set. Kimberly Vaio is tops on the team in defense with 375 digs.
The Owls are averaging 14.41 kills on .254 hitting, 15.93 digs and 2.02 team blocks.
Rice leads the all-time series 12-4 including a 3-0 sweep of the Golden Eagles this season.
2015 Conference USA All-Academic Team
Maja Ristic, Florida Atlantic
Lucia Castro, FIU
Jacie McClure, Louisiana Tech
Ally Kiekover, Marshall
Allie Kellerman, Marshall
Amy Henard, North Texas
Leah Mikesky, Rice
Mary Pursell, Southern Miss
Haley Jared, UAB
Lindsey Larson, UTEP
Kylie Schott, UTSA
Rachel Engle, WKU
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