Bedford passes 1,000 career digs in 3-0 shutout of Centre

Lauren Bedford (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)
Lauren Bedford (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Highlighted by junior Lauren Bedford surpassing the 1,000-dig mark in her career, the Birmingham-Southern volleyball team won its eighth-straight match Sunday afternoon, defeating Centre College 3-0 in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The victory moved the Panthers to 15-6 on the year and 6-1 in the Southern Athletic Association. BSC has now won eight straight matches, including six straight conference victories. The Panthers have won 24 of a possible 29 sets in the winning streak, and today's 3-0 shutout is their third in a row. Centre falls to 7-13 and 3-4 in league play.

The shutout victory sets up a showdown between the top top teams in the Southern Athletic Association when the Panthers host Millsaps College Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Majors previously defeated BSC in Jackson, Miss., 3-1, Sept. 17.

Centre came out firing, claiming an 18-12 lead late in the first set before a kill from sophomore Laura Van Peursem sparked four-point rally that brought the Panthers to within two at 18-16. BSC kept Centre in striking distance never allowing the visitors to get more than three points ahead. With Centre serving for match point at 25-24, BSC ground out three straight points to claim the set 27-25.

The Panthers seized the momentum from the first set to claim impressive victories in sets two and three, 25-12 and 25-18. During the second set, Bedford hit and then surpassed 14 digs, putting her past the 1,000-dig mark in her career.

At the net, the BSC offensive attack was led by sophomore Lynsie Byrd with a team-high 14 kills to go with her 16 digs for her 12th double-double of the season. Defensively, senior Meredith Lee led the way with a game-high 21 digs, and senior Katie O'Bar notced four blocks. Junior setter Katie McCormack dished out 39 assists, and Bedford ended up with 16 digs for the match.

BSC hosts fellow conference leader Millsaps Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Bill Battle Coliseum in a battle for first place in the league standings.