The 19th ranked Spring Hill College volleyball team moved one match away from a perfect regular season as they downed conference foe Belhaven University by a 3-0 (25-9, 25-13, 25-14) score in the Badgers home season finale at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center.
Spring Hill dominated the first set by rushing out to a 5-1 advantage and building out as much as a 15-4 bulge before coasting to a 25-9 decision.
The second set saw a hard-fought 6-4 Spring Hill start as the Blazers (22-12, 5-8 SSAC) kept their cool in the face of an overpowering SHC attack. The Badgers, however, used a 5-0 run to a score of 15-6 to claw out breathing room and closed out the set at 25-13.
In the third and final set, an 8-2 start by Spring Hill doomed any hopes of a Belhaven rally. The Blazers were able to cut the deficit to 18-13, but a final 6-point Badger run to 24-13 effectively ended the match.
Individually, the match developed into an offensive showcase of the Badger front line as senior right side hitter Yiting Cao of Shanghai, China, and sophomore middle hitter Sha Sha Buchanan of Mobile's McGill-Toolen Catholic High School each took turns blasting out points. Cao racked up 13 kills, four blocks and an ace for 16 total points only to be outshined by Buchanan who tallied 11 kills, six blocks and two aces for 16.5 points scored.
Sophomore setter Taryn Nash of Independence, Mo., feasted on the hot hands that surrounded her by dishing out 32 assists to her teammates.
For the Blazers, Christina Atwood had eight kills while Erin Bradley handed out 17 assists and scooped 10 digs. Gabriella Zorzoli also collected 11 digs and 19 receptions for Belhaven.
Overall, the Badgers outscored Belhaven 58-26 and built a .346 team attack percentage. For BU, 21 total kills were matched by 21 attack errors for a .000 team attack percentage.
With the win, the Badgers matched the program's record for wins in a single season at 35 established by Coach Gretchen Speed's 2003 team that finished with a 35-18 mark.
The Badgers (35-0, 13-0 SSAC West) will close out the regular season in a conference road match at archrival the University of Mobile (23-11, 7-5 SSAC) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the H. Austill Pharr Gymnasium.