SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The 23rd-ranked Spring Hill College volleyball team opened the Pool Play Round of the 2013 NAIA Volleyball National Championship Tournament with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-17) loss to the 5th-ranked Northwestern College (Iowa) Red Raiders at the Tyson Events Center on Tuesday evening.
The Badgers held a 19-16 advantage over Northwestern (35-2) late in the 1st set only to see the Red Raiders rally to take a 21-20 lead and hold on for the 25-23 win. In the 2nd set, SHC and Northwestern traded blow-for-blow until the Red Raiders turned an 11-11 tie into a 16-11 cushion with a critical five-point run sparked by the serving of Karlie Schut. The teams were once again tied at 11-11 in the 3rd set before Northwestern fought out to a 19-15 lead and closed the match with a 25-17 win.
SHC was paced on offense by freshman outside hitter Madison Seuzeneau with 11 kills and senior setter Taryn Nash with 28 assists. On defense, senior libero Meredith Donald collected nine digs with 18 receptions. Senior middle hitter Sha Sha Buchanan turned in eight kills and a solo block. As a team, the Badgers hit for a .227 (35-13-97) average with 41 total digs, two aces and two total blocks.
Northwestern hit for a .340 (48-12-106) average with 42 total digs, seven total blocks, four aces. Schut had 20 kills behind 38 assists by setter Brooke Fessler. Jillian Estes served up three aces while Kaitlin Floerchinger had 20 digs with 17 receptions.
Spring Hill (36-4) will next face the 9th-ranked Vangard University (Calif.) Lions (22-6) on Wednesday at 8 p.m.