Bell, Grandy named to Preseason All-C-USA Volleyball team, USM picked fifth in C-USA

By FROM SOUTHERN MISS,

HATTIESBURG – The Southern Miss volleyball team is off to a solid start in 2018 with the announcement that seniors Sarah Bell and Kylie Grandy were named to the Preseason All-Conference USA team. 

The Golden Eagles, seeking their fifth-straight 20-win season, were also picked to finish fifth in the league and gained two first-place votes in the process.

Bell, a setter out of San Antonio, has been a fixture on the C-USA honor roll throughout her whole career. She took home all-freshman honors before back-to-back first-team selections and has twice made the all-academic team. Bell currently sits fourth all-time in school history with 3,923 assists and is within 833 of the record.

Her best-career outing came on Sept. 22 in the league opener against eventual champion North Texas. Bell posted 75 assists, the most of anyone in Division I for the season. 

Grandy, an outside hitter from Rolesville, N.C., finished third in C-USA play for kills (3.98/set) and service aces (0.43/set), one of only three in the league to rank in the top-10 for both. She posted a career-high 389 kills last season and ranks No. 6 in the school's career record book with 147 aces in three years, just 20 behind the next spot.

The two-time All-Conference member also earned a spot on the 2017 C-USA All-Tournament team. Grandy had 28 kills over the two matches, including 18 in the team's dramatic, five-set victory over No. 3 Rice in the first round, while the Owls entered the weekend with the league's best defense. She even added a career-high seven assists. In the semifinal, Grandy collected 10 kills in three sets versus host, and eventual league champion, WKU.

The squad is also hosting its annual Black and Gold scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. inside Reed Green Coliseum. Admission is free and complimentary pizza will be available while supplies last. There will also be an autograph session at the conclusion of the event.

Season tickets can be purchased for $45 (adult), $35 (faculty/staff) or $25 (youth) by visiting SouthernMissTickets.com, calling 1-800-844-TICK, or stopping by the Pat Ferlise Center during normal business hours. 

2018 C-USA Volleyball Preseason Team

Yumi Garcia, Charlotte

Ivone Martinez, Florida Atlantic

Sigourney Kame, Florida Atlantic

Abbi Reid, Florida Atlantic

Karley York, North Texas

Barbara Teakell, North Texas

Grace Morgan, Rice

Nicole Lennon, Rice

Sarah Bell, Southern Miss

Kylie Grandy, Southern Miss

Macey Austin, UTEP

*Rachel Anderson, WKU

*Preseason Player of the Year

2018 C-USA Volleyball Preseason Poll

(first-place votes)

1. WKU (5)

2. Rice (2)

3. Florida Atlantic (2)

4. North Texas (1)

5. Southern Miss (2)

6. UTSA

7. Charlotte

8. Marshall

9. FIU (1)

10. UTEP

11. UAB

12. Middle Tennessee

13. Louisiana Tech