The Spring Hill College volleyball team went where no other Badger team has gone before on Tuesday evening as they became the first SHC squad to start a season 7-0 following a 3-0 (25-10, 25-20, 25-12) win over Xavier University (La.) at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center.
Spring Hill jumped out to an early 8-1 lead in the first set and did not allow a Xavier kill until the 13th point of the match when the Gold Nuggets made the score 9-4. The Badgers built out an 18-9 advantage and then closed the first set 25-10.
The second set was a back-and-forth affair as both teams traded points until a 3-0 run by the Badgers gave them a slim 10-7 cushion that grew to as much as 16-11. Xavier would not be far behind, however, cutting it to a 19-16 SHC lead, but SHC won the sprint to the finish line at 25-20.
Xavier dug itself an early 3-0 hole that only got deeper as SHC built a 10-3 advantage in the final set. Spring Hill took as much as a late 21-9 lead before closing out the contest at 25-12.
Senior right side hitter Yiting Cao of Shanghai, China, blasted out 15 kills and pulled in 12 digs while scoring a match-high of 17 points for Spring Hill. Sophomore setter Taryn Nash of Independence, Mo. passed around 34 assists.
Sophomores Meredith Donald and Sha Sha Buchanan, both hailing from Mobile's McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, enjoyed fine performances with Donald taking in 13 receptions and Buchanan slapping 12 kills with three service aces. Senior outside hitter Abbey Roam of Lebanon, Mo. also collected 12 digs on the evening.
For Xavier (1-2), Taylor Reuther tallied 12 kills and three aces for 15 total points and Alexandria Rencher handed out 18 assists.
The Badgers will travel to Baldwin, Kan., this weekend to compete in the Baker University Invitational beginning on Friday with matches versus Ottawa University at 1 p.m. and Sterling College at 5 p.m.