The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Southern Miss Lady Eagles Impress at Home in Golden Eagle Classic

Mya Evans

The Lady Eagles are finally back in Hattiesburg after several away games. The Lady Eagles opened up home with the annual Golden Eagle Classic versus Nicholls Despite their record of 1-5, the Lady Eagles brought in an electric crowd, and their performance did not let them down. The Lady Eagles won the first set 25-19 with great attitudes going into the second set of the evening. 

In the first set, Southern Miss had 20 kills, eight errors, 49 total attacks. 

The Lady Eagles opened up the second set with a score on the first serve. The Lady Eagles continued with the same energy from the first set throughout the second set as they began to dominate Nicholls. Heading into the first timeout of the second set, the Lady Eagles were up 10-4. DJ Kujo was in attendance and may have been an extra boost for the crowd as he played the best tunes all night. Several Lady Eagles have contributed to the great turnout so far, but Mia Wesley and Reagan Leinen have been complete powerhouses for the Lady Eagles in the first two sets. 

The Lady Eagles went into the half 2-0, winning the second set 25-18. 

After the half,  the Lady Eagles came out even more intense as they led the entire 3rd set. Going into the first timeout of the 3rd set, the Lady Eagles were up 15-10. Nicholls called another time out as the Eagles started to dominate in the third set, with the Lady Eagles up 19-10.  The Lady Eagles closed out the game in the third set with a score of 25-11. 

Reagan Leinen had a career night versus Nicholls with three strikes, fourteen kills, zero errors, 20 total attacks, and a .700 hitting percentage. 

“It feels awesome and I am looking forward to topping that throughout the season,” Leinen said.  

On day two of the Annual Golden Eagle Classic, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (3-5, 0-0 Sun Belt) swept the Mississippi Valley State Devillettes to conclude the Golden Eagle Classic with two wins. 

The Golden Eagles outperformed its best-hitting performance of the season on Friday night against the Nicholls State Colonels with another season-high .381 clip versus the Devilettes to finish out an undefeated weekend. 

The Golden Eagles won the first set 25-7 in dominating fashion. Golden Eagle Head Coach Jenny Hazelwood experimented with a new lineup, which included starting two freshmen, Torrey Tkach, and Sadie McAda, in their first collegiate career starts. Both Tkach and Mcda registered a career-high eight kills. McAda registered a match-best 16 digs, while Tkach earned four blocks and posted an efficient .889 clip on nine attempts. 

“I really liked how our freshmen stepped up today. They all just did a great job and it was really good to see us focus on certain things in practice and see that come out in the matches.” Hazelwood said. 

The first set of stats includes ten kills, two errors, and 21 total attacks for the Golden Eagles. 

The Golden Eagles continued their dominant performance entering the 2nd set. The Golden Eagle Freshmen setters Franky Panunzio and Hayden Riddle divided setter duties again, joined by sophomore Ella Voorhees, who helped create scoring opportunities for the Southern Miss attack. 

“I am satisfied with the results and improvement at the position from this week’s practices. We had our freshman and sophomore setters step up today and accept the challenges today.” Hazelwood said. 

The Golden Eagles won the set 25- 8, including a 12-1 run. The Golden Eagles had 12 kills, two errors, and 21 total attacks.

To begin the 3rd set, The Mississippi Valley State Devilettes fought with the Golden Eagles to begin the third set. However, the Golden Eagles did not let their foot off the gas pedal for long. Kallie Siebrasse hit two straight service aces to propel Southern Miss back forward for the remainder of the match. The Golden Eagles gained its second straight sweep of the weekend with a 25-13 victory in the third set. 

The Golden Eagles had 17 kills, three errors, and 42 total attacks. Coach Hazelwood commented on the team’s attitude entering the Golden Eagles Classic and preparation for their two matches. 

“The biggest thing we have been focusing on is just getting better every day. There were specific areas in practice this week that we focused on. We wanted to set our middle a lot more and clean up many of the little things, and we did that. Each weekend is building on the other, and I feel like we did a really good job this weekend on focusing on the things that we knew we had to get better at.”  Hazelwood said. 

The Golden Eagles’ next challenges lies ahead at the Beale Street Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 15-16. The Golden Eagles will face off against Little Rock, Memphis, and Arizona State.

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