TOUGALOO, Miss. – The Spring Hill College volleyball team clinched at least a share of their third consecutive conference regular season championship with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-13) victory over the Belhaven University Lady Blazers in a Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) road contest on Saturday morning in a match moved to Tougaloo College due to on-going repairs to the Belhaven gymnasium.
SHC quickly turned an early 4-4 tie in the first set into a 16-7 bulge over the Blazers (8-20, 2-12 SSAC) en route to a 25-12 win.
In the second set, Belhaven rallied to cut a 10-4 SHC lead down to 11-9, but a late 8-0 spurt by the Badgers made it a 23-14 advantage as Spring Hill won the set 25-17. Also in the second set, a kill by freshman Molly Griffin not only made it a 24-17 score, but also earned senior setter Taryn Nash her 5,000th career assist.
The third set saw the Badgers waste little time in racing out to a 10-1 lead behind a nine-point service run by sophomore Mallory Raulerson. Spring Hill then stepped on the gas to build a 19-5 cushion and cruised to a 25-13 final set win.
Nash ended her milestone day with 27 assists to give her a current career total of 5,001 assists. Junior Megan Haber collected 10 kills and five block assists. Senior libero Meredith Donald collected 23 digs.
As a team, the Badgers built a .247 (35-11-97) attack percentage and limited BU to a .009 average (25-25-113). SHC served up five aces and had eight total blocks.
Brittany Ammons had eight kills for the Blazers while Katherine Owen earned 19 digs and Mallory Church issued 15 assists.
The win extended the Badgers current winning streak to 20 matches and moved them into sole possession of 9th place on the NAI list of longest conference regular season winning streaks with 46 consecutive victories, passing the 1987-92 University of University of St. Francis (Ill.) teams. SHC has not lost a regular season SSAC match since a 3-2 loss at Loyola University (La.) on September 14, 2010.
Spring Hill (28-3, 12-0 SSAC) will put their winning streaks on the line against the SSAC's second-standing University of Mobile Lady Rams (18-11, 9-2 SSAC) on Tuesday in a conference match at 7:30 p.m. at Pharr Gymnasium.