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Volleyball Splits Series at Southern Miss, Will Face Louisiana in the Sun Belt Championship

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Old Dominion volleyball capped off the regular season with a 3-1 setback at Southern Miss on Saturday as the Monarchs and Golden Eagles split their Sun Belt series.

"We had to change personnel for today's match, but we still battled," said head coach Fred Chao. "We had four freshmen on the court in set two and they gained valuable experience. Despite the loss, I think the team is in a good place going into the conference tournament."

Southern Miss 3, ODU 1
The Golden Eagles (12-15, 7-9 Sun Belt) raced out to a 7-1 lead at the start of the first set and later used a 6-0 run to pull away, 19-9. Trailing 24-12, Elisa Maggi scored an attack to open up a six-point spurt for the Monarchs (14-16, 6-10), but the hosts earned set point at 25-18.

ODU again found itself behind early in set two. With USM leading 12-7, Teresa Atilano assisted Bailey Burgess and Olivia De Jesus and Bryanna Jones then followed with a block. A couple of Southern Miss errors and kills by Adrienne Peji and Maggi allowed the Monarchs to jump ahead, 13-12. With the set even at 23-23, De Jesus and Tessa Mati came up with a block and Jones served an ace to tie match at a set apiece.

USM put together an 8-1 swing to go up 11-4 in the third set. Another five unanswered points by the Golden Eagles extended their lead to 20-10 and they held on for a 25-15 tally. The fourth set remained close for the first half as an Alice Munari kill trimmed the host's lead to 12-10. However, a 7-1 push allowed USM to pull away at 19-11. ODU earned four-of-five points down the stretch, but it wouldn't be enough as the Monarchs came up short, 25-19.

Maggi paced ODU's attack with 14 kills, was just shy of a double-double with nine digs, and added two blocks to her totals. Burgess was next with seven kills, five blocks and five digs, and Mati finished with six kills and six blocks. Atilano turned in 29 assists with nine digs and three blocks, and Jones served two aces with six digs. De Jesus made a team-high seven blocks, Peji set a new high with 11 digs, and Kate Kilpatrick tallied 15 digs.

Up Next
The 2023 Sun Belt Championship will be held at the Foley Events Center in Foley, Alabama on Nov. 15-19. ODU earned the fifth seed out of the league's East Division and will open the tournament against fourth seed out of the West, Louisiana, next Thursday at 2:30 p.m. EST. For more details and to view the complete bracket, visit the Sun Belt's Championship page here.