In front of the largest and likely most boisterous home crowd of the season, Bishop England swept Waccamaw, 3-0, in the Class AA Lower State volleyball championship Thursday night.
The win was the Bishops' 59th straight playoff victory, and Bishop England (23-7) next battles Gilbert for the state championship Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at White Knoll High School.
A state title would be the Bishops' 12th straight and 22nd overall.
Though Bishop England coach Cindy Baggott was pleased with the 25-21, 25-19, 25-17 victory, the match was anything but a breeze.
"I thought we played well at times, (but) we made some mistakes," said Baggott. "And I think Waccamaw came in with a game plan and prepared. And they played well. We had to work for (the win)."
It took the Bishops most of the first game to find their rhythm, but the Warriors were unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
The first six points of the second game belonged to Bishop England. Four of those points were aces from Sarah Luhn, and the senior libero's squad cruised to a sizeable 19-10 advantage. Waccamaw (17-6) climbed to within three at 22-19, but the Bishops were able to hold on for the momentum-building two-game advantage.
"We know that serve-receive is kind of our make or break," Baggott said. "When we serve-receive well, we get the ball to our hitters so that our hitters can do their job."
Bishop England trailed only once in the third game -- 2-1 -- and sophomore Elliott Erickson's match-point ace allowed the Bishops to end the Warriors' season for the fourth time in as many years.
Junior middle hitter Ellie James recorded a match-high 11 kills, while Mary Harriet Moore and Katherine Westbrook added eight and six, respectively. Junior setter Julianne Dahlman paved the way with 29 assists and Luhn had a match-high 14 digs.
Bishop England has yet to lose a game in the playoffs as the squad also recorded 3-0 sweeps of Barnwell, Aynor and Dillon prior to Thursday's contest.