Eagles volleyball closes home schedule with win, loss

Southern Miss (14-13, 5-7) pulled out a big win at home against the Marshall Thundering Herd in a 3-1 match, but finished the weekend with a 3-1 loss to Florida International.

On Nov. 8, the Eagles defeated the Herd (14-15, 7-6) winning three of four sets by three or more points. Except for the second set, losing 25-19, the Eagles outperformed Marshall in nearly every aspect of the game.

The first set remained close throughout, until a 4-1 stint for the Eagles gave them the advantage they needed. The Golden Eagles recorded 19 kills and .293 hitting in the 25-22 victory.

Marshall tied the match 1-1 before going into the third set. However, the Eagles proved they were up to the task for the final two sets by winning 25-16 and 25-20, respectively. USM notched a win on their belt after recording a combined 32 kills in those sets.

Four players made double-digit kills in the win over Marshall. Elise Ames, Jasmine Crowell, Quinci Hayward and Stephany Purdue all accounted for 53 of USM’s 64 kills. Kristen Fleming finished with 55 assists and the team averaged a .280 hitting clip.

Sunday, Nov. 10, was the opposite of Friday night’s victory. The Eagles fell in a 3-1 match to the FIU Panthers (11-18, 5-8) on their Senior Day, the last home game of the regular season.

The same four Golden Eagles who scored double-digit kills repeated their performance in Sunday’s match. But though USM out-killed FIU 67-61 it was not enough to send the Panthers home with a loss.

USM and FIU each totaled 77 points on the match, but the Panthers’ defense outperformed the Eagles with 67 kills and nine team blocks. After a close 26-24 win for the first set, the Eagles lost the final three sets, each set with a score of 25-22.

Elise Ames finished the match with 17 kills and .457 hitting, while Quinci Hayward had an impressive 19 kills but a less impressive .060 hitting average.

The Golden Eagles will wrap up the season on the road. USM travels to Charlotte on Friday, Nov. 15, and closes their regular season at Florida Atlantic on Sunday, Nov. 17.