Troy splits Sun Belt series with Southern Miss

Published 9:29 am Monday, October 3, 2022

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The Troy Trojans (8-8, 2-2) volleyball team split a weekend series with the Southern Miss Eagles (10-6, 2-2) on the road Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

In match one, Troy fell behind 1-0 after dropping the first set 25-23 but bounced back to tie the match with a 25-21 win in the second set. Southern Miss again took control with a 25-20 win in the third set but the Trojans answered once again by taking the fourth set 25-22. In the final set, Troy fell behind 11-8 before storming back to take a 14-11 led with a chance to close out the match only for the Eagles to score five unanswered points to win the final set 16-14.

Tori Hester led Troy with 27 kills, three blocks and 11 digs, while Julia Brooks totaled 11 kills and six blocks. Amara Anderson had an eye-popping 59 assists as she continues to stretch her career assist record. Amiah Butler totaled 18 kills and nine digs along with Sara Bates earning five aces.

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In match two, Troy swept the Eagles and dominating their way to the Trojans’ second conference win of the season. Troy won all three sets 26-24, 25-22 and 25-17.

“Really great bounce-back response after a tough loss last night,” Troy coach Josh Lauer said. “We had great defensive execution, especially today both front row and back row.

“We also had multiple players contribute last night and today, and Tori Hester was special this weekend. Back-to-back double-doubles and 44 kills on the weekend were fun to watch. All in all, really proud of our team focus and effort this entire weekend.”

Hester and Brooks both earned 17 kills each in the win, while Hester also tallied two assists, two blocks and 11 digs. Brooks also earned four blocks. Amara Anderson totaled 44 assists, nine digs and two kills, while Amiah Butler earned 11 kills and Jaci Mesa had 10 digs.

Hester is currently ranked second in kills in the conference with 268 kills, while Anderson is ranked fourth in the Sun Belt with 603 assists this season. Bates is currently ranked fifth in the conference in aces with 20. Hester is also ranked second in the conference in overall points.

Troy is back at home this Thursday and Friday for a conference series with Marshall on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7. Both matches begin at 6 p.m. at Trojan Arena and admission is free. Both games will also stream live on ESPN+.