• 75°

Kinsley Hanback Leads Offensive Outburst in Nicholls Sweep

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Efficiency was the word of the day for the Southern Miss volleyball team, producing a whopping .406 hitting percentage in a sweep of Nicholls (25-21, 25-17, 25-19) on Tuesday evening.

Kinsley Hanback’s .714 clip (15 kills, no errors on 21 attempts) gave her the highest mark by a Golden Eagle since Elise Ames against Georgia on Sept. 20, 2014. As a team, Southern Miss’ .406 percentage was its highest since the 2017 season, when it surpassed .400 three times (Nicholls, Jackson State, UTEP).

As of the evening, Hanback’s hitting percentage ties Georgia Southern’s Mya Wilson for second in the nation (minimum 20 attempts).

“I’m excited. It felt really good,” head coach Stephanie Radecki said. “I thought we did a lot of things well. We need to improve our blocking, but I think we maintained a pretty consistent energy and executed. I think our first swing-side-out was strong.”

The initial nerves were long gone after the first set was tied at 14. Southern Miss rattled off four-straight points, buoyed by two Lauren Talbert kills, an Aliah Giroux ace and Nicholls attack error. In fact, each of the last seven points for the Golden Eagles came off kills.

The home team raced out to a 12-5 lead in the second set, forcing a Colonel timeout, and it eventually stretched to 20-9. The third set had an uncanny resemblance, with the Golden Eagles again ahead 12-5 and also 20-12.

Defensively, Chloe Klusman and Nyanuer Bidit each had three total blocks and one solo. Talbert and Duquesne Moratzka, who earlier in the day was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week, combined for 23 kills and just three errors. Setters Kenzie Smith and Piper Matsumoto each were perfect in dump situations, with three kills overall.

Smith also had an impressive 32 assists in just two sets.

Southern Miss (5-2) will begin C-USA play Sunday and Monday at UTEP.