TAYLORSVILLE The No. 1-ranked Salt Lake Community College volleyball team easily swept Snow College in the Region 18 Championship, 30-14, 30-25, 30-20, at SLCC on Monday night.
The Bruins (40-1) are the first team in any sport in Salt Lake Community College's history to hold a No. 1 national ranking.
Despite holding the top ranking and having a 10-0 conference record, due to SWAC rules the Bruins found themselves in the interesting position of having to play a must-win game against a team they had already defeated four times this season.
"At first we were kind of nervous because there's always that possibility, but I thought we played well especially in that first game," sophomore Samantha Richard said.
In the first game, with the score tied 4-4, the Bruins went on a 20-2 run behind Cinthia Silva's six kills to blow the game wide open. Megan Metcalf served for seven points and had two aces during the run.
In the tighter second game, a number of SLCC errors and four kills from Snow's Britnee Clifford kept the Badgers in the game until several key serves from Morgan Lloyd and a game-ending kill by Tela Burnett gave the Bruins the win.
The Bruins exploded to a 10-2 lead out of the break in the third game and never relented, eventually grabbing a 30-20 win. Michaela Hanakova controlled the tempo of the match with 42 total set assists, while Cinthia Silva tallied 12 kills and Richard added 11. Richard and Lloyd also each had 14 digs.
Clifford led the Badgers with nine kills, and freshman Lenora Nauhi added 13 digs in the match.
With the win, the Bruins advance to the District A championship against Arizona Western on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Salt Lake Community College. This final home game is another must-win for the Bruins, with the winner getting a bid to the national tournament to be held Nov. 15-17 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
"It's going to be tough on Saturday because they're going to come at us pretty hard, but I know we can get the win and go on to nationals," Silva said."Right now we are No. 1, but it doesn't mean anything," Hanakova added. "We want to go to nationals and prove we are the best."