MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Spring Hill College volleyball team opened the bracket play round of the 2012 SSAC Championship Tournament with a 3-0 semi-final victory by the scores of 25-17, 25-20, 25-19 over the College of Coastal Georgia Mariners in on Saturday morning at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex Building.
Spring Hill jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the 1st set en route to a 25-17 win.
In the 2nd set, Coastal Georgia kept the Badgers within striking distance and tied the set at 18-18, but Spring Hill's experience and defense pulled away late to secure the 25-20 win.
The Mariners once again made it a hard-fought affair in the 3rd set and tied the set at 15-15, but Spring Hill maintained its pose and clawed out a 25-19 win to wrap up the 3-0 decision.
The 9th-seeded Mariners (15-19) were the final team to make the SSAC Tournament and used a Cinderella run with upset wins over Southern Wesleyan University and Emmanuel College to reach the semifinals, but the Badgers were too much for the first-year members of the conference.
The Badgers were led by junior middle hitter Sha Sha Buchanan of Mobile who totaled 13 kills and two service aces. Junior setter Taryn Nash passed out 35 assists with 12 digs while freshman Taylor Lahasky scooped up a team-high 17 digs.
As a team, Spring Hill hit .300 (43-10-110) while Coastal earned a .128 attack percentage (38-23-117). The Badgers totaled 12 blocks as the Mariners stopped five kill attempts.
With the semi-final victory, the Badgers (30-5) secured a second consecutive automatic bid to the NAIA National Championship Tournament. Spring Hill will face the 9th-ranked Lee University Lady Flames (27-9) in today's 4 p.m. finals.