NATCHITOCHES – The Northwestern State volleyball team overturned a six-point deficit in the fourth set of to aid in Tuesday night's 3-1 (25-16, 25-21, 17-25, 25-22) victory over visiting Southern Mississippi at Prather Coliseum.
The Lady Demons improve to 3-8 on the season as USM falls to 9-5.
"I felt that we controlled the first two sets pretty well – we ran the ball and a lot of the things we have been good at all season were represented in those two sets," said fourth year co-head coach Hugh Hernesman. "Southern Mississippi made some really nice adjustments heading into the third set and they competed really hard, but we were able to overturn that and take momentum at the timeout."
In the fourth set, the Golden Eagles went on two, three-point runs to take a 13-9 lead over NSU, but the Lady Demons battled back to tie the game at 18 and put up their own three-point run to take advantage of the score. Both teams traded points until Northwestern State pulled away with the win.
NSU controlled sets one and two, including a 5-0 run early in the first to take a 6-1 lead and maintain control for the remainder of the game. Set two posed two lead-changes with the Lady Demons going on a set-high three point run to claim the lead heading into the break.
Outside hitter Quincy Hayward put up 12 big kills for the Golden Eagles to aid in their domination of set three, keeping the Lady Demons at an arm's length throughout its entirety, including a 6-0 run mid-way through to take a 15-7 lead.
Freshman Ashley Elrod registered her third double-double of the season, and her second in a row, with 16 kills and 11 digs while Keelie Arneson and Emily Johnson put up season-highs of 28 digs and 27 assists, respectively, to aid in the Lady Demons' triumph.
"Keelie had a great match and we might be getting a bit spoiled from her performances," said Hernesman. "We had a really good offensive performance tonight since Emily and Natalie established the middle attack to allow the middles to put up high numbers."
Stacy DiFrancesco and Caiti O'Connell both contributed nine kills.
The Lady Demons host Southeastern on Thursday at seven o'clock and New Orleans on Saturday at 2:00 to kick-off Southland Conference play. Both matches will be held at Prather Coliseum.