The Spring Hill College volleyball team withstood a strong challenge from the Southern Wesleyan University Warriors in a conference match on Saturday morning at the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center but survived to take a 3-0 final victory with the scores of 26-24, 25-19, 25-21.
The Badgers appeared to have a comfortable 18-13 lead in the 1st set, but the Warriors (11-8, 4-3 SSAC) launched a furious rally to pull within 19-18 and also fended off a 24-21 SHC advantage to send the set into extra rallies at 24-24. Spring Hill, however, regrouped to tally the final two points for the 1-0 lead in the match.
In the 2nd set, the Badgers built another 18-13 bulge, but once again SWU found a second wind and pulled to within 21-19 when a 4-point run by SHC closed out the set and gave the home team a 2-0 advantage. The 3rd set found the pesky Warriors from South Carolina ahead 6-3 and 10-7, but a 5-1 run by Spring Hill gave the Badgers a 12-11 lead that they would not relinquish. SHC took as much as a 22-14 lead and a final push by SWU cut it to a 23-20 Warrior deficit, but two of the final three points went the Badgers' way for the 25-21 win.
Junior Sha Sha Buchanan from Mobile ripped out 15 kills and sophomore Megan Haber of Lillian, Ala., added 14 more kills with two solo blocks and a block assist to the SHC cause. Junior setter Taryn Nash of Independence, Mo., distributed 39 assists and junior Meredith Donald of Mobile wrangled in 24 digs and 13 receptions.
Amber Garrett paced the Warriors with 15 kills and Hayley Hoover collected 32 assists. Kelsey Deerinwater led the SWU defense with 17 digs and 22 receptions.
The Badgers (16-3, 6-0 SSAC) will visit the University of Mobile Rams (14-6, 3-3 SSAC) for a conference match at Pharr Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.