NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Spring Hill College volleyball team survived a 5-set scare from Loyola University (La.) to take a 3-2 victory by the scores of 30-28, 17-25, 25-20, 23-25 and 15-13 in a Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) road match on Tuesday evening.
The Wolf Pack (8-3, 0-3 SSAC) took an early 7-3 lead in the 1st set before the Badgers rallied to take a 9-8 advantage behind the serving of sophomore Sami Maurer of St. Louis, Mo. From there the two teams combined for 10 ties and six set-point opportunities until Spring Hill ground out a 30-28 victory.
Loyola bounced back to take the 2nd set 25-17 win after the Wolf Pack used an early 6-1 run to build out a 7-3 advantage. The teams then traded points as Spring Hill was unable to whittle into the bulge. A late 5-point run by Loyola resulted in a 21-13 lead that effectively decided the set.
In the 3rd set, the Badgers built out a 4-0 lead only to see Loyola fight back to tie the match at 15-15 and 20-20, but SHC rattled off the final five points for the 25-20 win.
The 4th set saw the Badgers and Wolf Pack battle through 15 ties with the last one coming at 23-23 as Loyola rallied from down 23-22 to wrestle away a 25-23 win. Loyola then held an 8-6 advantage at the changeover in the 15-point tiebreaker set and maintained a13-10 lead until Spring Hill stepped up to challenge and ran off the final five points of the match behind the serving of junior Sha Sha Buchanan of Mobile for the come-from-behind victory.
Sophomore Megan Haber of Lillian, Ala., ripped out 27 kills and made 4.5 blocks while Buchanan added 24 kills and four blocks to the Badger totals. Sophomore Maddie LaForge of New Orleans recorded two service aces and sophomore libero Meredith Donald brought in 32 digs with Maurer contributing another 29 digs.
For Loyola, Luaren Brand recorded 19 kills and Eva Allen had 18 kills. Katie Hamilton served up two aces and Katlyn Mohr put back two blocks.
The Badgers (12-3, 3-0 SSAC) currently sit atop the SSAC standings and will host the 2nd place standing Belhaven University Lady Blazers (10-2, 2-0 SSAC) in a conference contest at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center on Friday at 7 p.m.