Nov. 11, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. ---- Sam Serley broke the UAB record for blocks on an afternoon in which the Blazer volleyball team swatted a Conference USA season-high 21 in a 3-1 victory at Southern Miss on Sunday afternoon.
“Today we came out strong with a lot of emotion,” head coach Kerry Messersmith said. “They key for us all day was that we dominated the net. Southern Miss had a difficult time getting anything going offensively against us.”
UAB improved to 19-13 overall and 11-5 in league play to close out the regular season. The victory gives the Blazers a No. 4 seed in the Conference USA Tournament bracket and will take on No. 5 UTEP on Friday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. CT in Tulsa, Okla.
Serley, who finished the match with 10 blocks, not sits atop the UAB record book for career swats. The Nashville, Tenn., native has totaled 550 rejections as a Blazer, surpassing the previous record of 547 set by Hilary Beck in 1992.
“Sam is so deserving of breaking this record,” Messersmith said. “She has just done a tremendous job for us over her four years here. We are so fortunate to have her come and play here and make such an impact both on and off the court as a Blazer.”
Against USM, UAB offense came out swinging, hitting .484 and .371 over the first two stanzas. During that stretch, the Blazers also collected eight blocks to hold a commanding 2-0 lead in the contest.
However, the Golden Eagles responded edging the Blazers in the third set, 25-23.
UAB was able to bounce right back, totaling six more blocks in the fourth and final stanza, while holding the USM offense to a .022 hitting clip in the final frame. Southern Miss (8-20, 4-12 C-USA) was held to a .052 hitting percentage for the match.
To go along with her 10 blocks (four solo) Serley rocketed 13 kills off a .387 hitting clip.
Joining Serley in the block party with four-or-more blocks was Kirsten Gallagher (eight), Kate Morrell (five), Michele Simmons (four) and Alison Woods (four).
Also reaching double figures in kills with Serley was Gallagher (12), Morrell (12) and Sam Skinner (12).
Southern Miss was led by Jasmine Crowell’s 15 kills and six blocks in the loss.