The Oglethorpe volleyball team went across town Wednesday afternoon to take on the homestanding Clark Atlanta Panthers, a Division II side, and picked up a first set victory. However, Clark Atlanta came back with three straight wins over the final three sets to take the match 3-1. The result dropped the Stormy Petrels to 3-14 on the season.
The Petrels got the match off to an excellent start, as they slowly built an 8-5 lead in the opening set. Clark Atlanta responded with a 6-1 run of their own to take an 11-9 lead. Oglethorpe answered right back with four consecutive points to put themselves ahead 13-11, and the two teams traded points for awhile, resulting in a 17-14 Oglethorpe lead. Three straight Panther points tied the score at 17-17, and they eventually pushed to a 23-21 lead. Oglethorpe scored three straight points to give themselves a 24-23 lead, giving themselves a set point. Clark Atlanta answered back to tie the score at 25-25, but the Petrels finished the final two points to give themselves a 27-25 first set win.
Oglethorpe began the second set in fine form, as well, building a quick 4-1 edge. However, the Panthers ran off five straight points to take a two-point lead, eventually expanding it to a 12-8 advantage. The Petrels came back to tie it, but the home team slowly pushed their lead out to eventually tie the match at a set apiece with a 25-19 second set win. Clark Atlanta began the third set well, also, building a 7-3 advantage and eventually pushing it out to 11-6. Oglethorpe cut it to three at 11-8, but Clark Atlanta took control from there. They went on a 5-0 run to assert control and pushed their way to a 25-17 victory.
In the fourth set, the Petrels had an early 5-2 lead, but saw the Panthers go on an 8-1 to take a 10-6 lead. An Oglethorpe three-point run made it a one-point game at 10-9, but a 7-2 stretch by Clark Atlanta allowed them to pull it back out to a 19-13 advantage. A 6-1 Clark Atlanta run ended it, giving them a 25-17 win in the clinching fourth set.
Freshman outside hitter Jacoby Sims led the Petrels with 12 kills while also contributing seven digs. Senior setter Jordan Jones passed out 24 assists, while sophomore libero Taryn North led the Petrels with 14 digs.
"I thought we played well in spots, particularly in the first set," said Oglethorpe head coach Joseph Goodson, "but couldn't put it together enough late in the match to stay in it. We'll get back to SAA play this weekend with a couple of home matches, and we're looking forward to playing some matches in front of our home crowd."
The Petrels will take on Birmingham-Southern Friday night at 7 p.m., then continue their weekend Saturday at noon against Millsaps. Both matches will take place at the Petrels' Dorough Field House.