USM Volleyball Team Prepares for Big Daddy’s Invitational

Volleyball Plays In Third Tournament, Travels To Big Daddy's Invitational

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss volleyball team plays in its third tournament when the Golden Eagles travel to Lake Charles, La., to play in the McNeese Big Daddy's Invitational, Sept. 13-14.

Play gets underway Friday with Southern Miss taking on Prairie View at 11:30 a.m., and a match against host McNeese State at 7 p.m.  Southern Miss concludes play Saturday beginning at 9 a.m., against ULM and at 4:30 against UT-Pan American.

Southern Miss (5-2) is coming off a 3-0 sweep of Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday in a home contest. Quinci Hayward led the way with a match-high 15 kills while Mary Pursell added 18 digs.

Hayward leads the team offensively with 91 kills for a 4.33 per set average while Jasmine Crowell is next with a 2.48 kill per set average. Kristen Fleming has guided the team's offense, averaging 11.24 assists per set. Mary Pursell leads the team in digs with 101 (4.81 d/s). Crowell is also the top blocker with 23 total blocks (1.10 b/s).

Prairie View comes into the weekend with a 1-7 record following a 3-0 loss to Houston Baptist.  Magda Aietek leads Prairie View offensively with 70 kills and also leads the team in total blocks with 27. Candyce Alexander averages 1.78 digs per set while Kelsey Espinosa guides the offense with 4.96 assists. The Panthers have a .089 hitting percentage while averaging 8.6 kills. The Golden Eagles lead the series against Prairie View, 4-0.

McNeese is 5-3 on the young season, after a 3-0 sweep of Southern on Wednesday night.  Malina Sanchez leads the team offensively with 102 kills while five players have recorded 50 or more digs, led by Kaylen Wolfe with a 3.65 per set average. Vanessa Bentley guides McNeese on offense with an 8.15 assists per set average. The Cowgirls are averaging 11.8 kills per set on .231 hitting. Southern Miss leads the series against McNeese, 8-4.

ULM enters the weekend with a 1-7 record after finishing 1-3 in the Sugar Bear Invitational. The Warhawks use a balanced attack with five players recording 30 or more kills. Hadley Swartz leads the group with 45. Marcela Araya leads the team in digs with a 4.81 per set average. ULM is averaging 9.74 kills on .099 hitting and averaging 13.33 digs per set.  ULM leads the series 13-7 against Southern Miss.

Texas-Pan American brings a 6-3 record into the Big Daddy's Invitational after a posting a 3-2 win over the University of the Incarnate Wood.  Haley Durham leads a balanced offense attack with a 73 kills followed by Maria Kliefoth and Diara Reynolds with 72 and 70 kills, respectively. Nausheen Merchant paces the team defensively with a 3.38 dig per set average. The Broncos are averaging 10.91 kills on .152 hitting and picking up 15.24 digs per set. Southern Miss owns a 3-0 record against Texas-Pan American.

Following the Big Daddy's Invitational, the Golden Eagles remain on the road with a trip to Northwestern State on Sept. 17 for a 7 p.m match.

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