Southern Miss traveled to Houston to face conference opponent Rice this past Sunday. The Golden Eagles were able to start the contest in the fashion they wanted but could not leave the contest with a win as they lost, 3-1.
“We certainly didn’t play our best today, but we will have to rebound quickly for this weekend,” said Head Coach Amanda Berkley. “Conference USA play is very challenging and you have to come ready to play and today just wasn’t our day.”
USM, who was again led by junior Kylie Granby in the kill category, jumped out to an early one set lead against the Owls. Southern Miss took the first set 25-22, but failed to capitalize on solid play from the Golden Eagle starters, dropping the next three straight sets 25-17, 25-18 and 25-23.
In the second set, the Golden Eagles found themselves down 11-2 and closed the margin to 14-10 but unfortunately it was not enough as they dropped the second set. In the next set, the Golden Eagles took a 15-12 lead but Rice rallied back 10-3 to win the set. In the final set, the Golden Eagles battled back in forth tying the match 23- 23 but the Owls completed the comeback by pulling ahead 25- 23 winning the set and match.
Southern Miss either led or tied for the lead, in every major statistical category except blocks but could not seem to find a rhythm when it mattered. Junior Sarah Bell led all players with 44 assists, while Grandy added 14 kills to go along with three aces.
Freshman Chandler Marshall provided 13 kills, while sophomore Catherine Repsher added ten, giving USM a team total of 50 kills for the match.
Southern Miss drops to 17-11 overall and 7-5 in conference play. Rice improves to 20-7 overall, and 10-3 in conference, respectively.
USM will host Louisiana Tech on Thursday. The match is set for 6pm in Reed Green Coliseum.
The Golden Eagles will close out regular season play this week, before the C-USA Championships kick off on Nov. 17th in Bowling Green, Ky.