Volleyball drops two at home over the weekend
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 01:10
The Lady Eagles volleyball team returned home to Reed Green Coliseum over the weekend after a three-game road trip. Non-conference play was not kind to the young Eagles, as they posted a 4-8 record in four tournaments. Conference play provided Southern Miss with a chance to start fresh, and they took advantage. Wins over Tulane and East Carolina helped the Eagles notch a 2-2 record against conference foes.
Friday, Conference-USA leader Tulsa visited Hattiesburg looking to stay undefeated in conference play. The Lady Eagles might have played their best set of the year to open the match against the Golden Hurricanes. After trailing 6-1, Southern Miss used a five-point run to tie the set. It was the first of 11 ties for a set that also saw four lead changes. The Eagles ended up taking the set 25-21.
Tulsa controlled the rest of the match, winning the next three sets. They took the second set 25-19, but Southern Miss never led nor tied the set and never felt as close as the score indicated. After a 1-1 tie in the third set, the Hurricanes pounded the Eagles in convincing fashion to the tune of 25-8. Southern Miss failed to fair much better in the fourth and final set, as Tulsa took that one 25-14.
Senior outside hitter Tyler Henderson led the way for the Golden Hurricanes with 22 kills. Tulsa senior setter Jordan Clampitt recorded 32 assists while her sister, Bailey, chipped in 15 more assists. Southern Miss was led by senior outside hitter Halie Ecker with 14 kills and sophomore setter Kristen Fleming with 29 assists and 16 digs. Sophomore Jasmine Crowell, the team’s leader in kills this season, was held below her average with four for the match.
The Mustangs of Southern Methodist visited Hattiesburg on Sunday as the Golden Eagles looked to return to a .500 record in conference play. Southern Miss was in full control of the first set after another strong start before the Mustangs reeled off an 11-3 run to steal it. A lack of ability to stop large runs once again doomed the Eagles as Southern Methodist rode the momentum to a 3-0 set sweep: 25-23, 25-13 and 25-16.
Sophomore Caroline Young led the way for SMU with 12 kills, while seniors Olivia Bailey and Susan Lewis added 32 assists and 14 digs, respectively. Southern Miss had two kill leaders, as Crowell and freshman Quinci Hayward recorded nine apiece. Senior Elizabeth Rinaudo added 13 digs to the losing effort.
The Lady Eagles fell to 6-12 on the season and 2-4 in conference. Southern Miss will hit the road for three straight road games against UAB, Memphis and UCF. The next home game will be against the Golden Knights of UCF on Oct. 21.
“We have to learn from losses and continue to get better each and every day,” volleyball coach Abbey Sutherland said. “They have improved since day one, and we definitely have more opportunities to get wins. We have to play tough, play together and rise to the challenge.”