Nov. 20, 2013
The Last Meeting
October 13, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss volleyball opens play in the 2013 Conference USA Championship on Thursday, Nov. 21, when the Golden Eagles take on ninth-seeded UTEP at noon in the Alumni Memorial Gym on the Middle Tennessee campus.
Southern Miss enters Thursday's match 16-13 on the year, 7-7 in C-USA action, and winners of four of their last five matches.
As a team, the Golden Eagles are averaging 13.62 kills, 12.99 assists, 14.47 digs and 1.78 blocks per set. Sophomore outside hitter Quinci Hayward headlines the squad with 4.00 kills per set with Jasmine Crowell, Elise Ames and Stephany Purdue averaging 2.64, 2.48 and 2.41 kills per set, respectively. Sophomore libero Mary Pursell paces the club with 4.94 digs per contest, and junior setter Kristen Fleming guides the team with 11.19 assists per outing.
Southern Miss is hitting .232 (1444-574-3752) on the season while allowing opponents to attack at a .230 clip (1400-544-3716). The Golden Eagle opponents are averaging 13.31 kills, 12.33 assists, 13.80 digs and 2.13 blocks per set.
UTEP, meanwhile, comes into the match 14-13 on the year while posting a 7-7 C-USA record during the regular season. As a team, the Miners are averaging 13.20 kills, 12.21 assists, 14.77 digs and 1.88 blocks per set.
Xitlali Herrera, who had 15 kills in Sunday's win over the Pirates, leads the squad with 4.37 kills per set, Victoria Valencia paces the club with 3.76 digs per contest, and while Malia Patterson is averaging 10.37 assists in guiding the squad's offense.
UTEP is hitting .204 (1254-554-3428) on the season while allowing opponents to attack at a .206 clip (1201-509-3367. The Miners' opponents are averaging 12.64 kills, 11.81 assists, 14.44 digs and 1.78 blocks per set so far in 2008.
In that match back on Oct. 13 in Hattiesburg, Southern Miss team captured a three-set win over UTEP (25-17, 25-20, 25-19). Purdue led the Golden Eagles with a team-high 14 kills on .448 hitting as Crowell connected on 12 of her 28 swings to hit .393. Hayward pounded 11 kills. As a team, Southern Miss attacked at a .289 clip.
Fleming dished out 38 assists as Pursell led the defense with a match-high 22 digs and Purdue picked up eight digs.
The Golden Eagles also claimed the blocking battle, 6.0 to 3.0. Ames led the way with four as Purdue tallied three stuffs.
All-session passes for the four-day event are priced at $20 for adults and $10 for ages 3-12. Daily tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for ages 3-12. Children aged two and under are admitted free. Students currently attending Conference USA institutions are admitted free with their current university-issued ID.
Tickets can be purchased Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. at the Middle Tennessee ticket office, located at Gate 1A of Floyd Stadium on Faulkinberry Drive. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the ticket office during business hours at (615) 898-5261.
Volleyball fans who can't make the tournament in person should watch live action via the C-USA Digital Network. The Middle Tennessee athletic department is producing a full TV-quality broadcast with play-by-play, color analysis, interviews and statistical information for each of the matches leading up to the championship title match on Sunday.
Current subscribers to the C-USA Digital Network can just click the "watch links" on the Volleyball Championship Central site to view the current match in progress. All you have to do is enter your password information. New and school-only subscribers will need to purchase a monthly pass to view all 10 tournament matches. A monthly subscription is $14.95, and an annual subscription is $119.95.