The Oglethorpe volleyball team fought hard in a pair of matches Friday at the Lakeland University Volleyball Tournament in Plymouth, Wisconsin, but fell short in the end. They fell 3-2 to Wisconsin Lutheran in their first match of the day, then dropped a 3-0 decision to Cardinal Stritch in the nightcap. The results dropped them to 0-2 to start the season.
The Stormy Petrels engaged in a back-and-forth battle with the Wisconsin Lutheran Warriors to start their day. The Petrels took the opening set 25-18 after jumping out to a 12-6 advantage. Wisconsin Lutheran came back with a couple points to cut it to four, but Oglethorpe extended their lead to 21-11 after that. The Warriors came back to make it 23-18 late in the set, but the Petrels finished them off to take a 1-0 lead.
Wisconsin Lutheran bounced back with a 13-5 run to begin the second set. Four straight Oglethorpe points made it 13-9, and the two teams traded points for awhile after that, but a 5-1 run by the Warriors gave them a 24-15 lead en route to a 25-16 victory.
The third set was tied 8-8, then Oglethorpe pushed out to an 11-8 lead. Three straight Warrior points tied it back up at 12-12, but Oglethorpe embarked on a 6-1 run to take a 19-14 lead, then finished on a stretch of four straight points to win the set, 25-17, putting themselves one set away from victory.
After using a 5-point run to take an 8-6 lead early in the fourth, though, the Petrels saw Wisconsin Lutheran take control of the stanza. The Warriors ran off seven straight points during one stretch and forced a fifth set with a 25-15 victory in the fourth.
Oglethorpe took a 4-2 lead early in the fifth, then stretched that to as much as 10-6. They led 12-9, needing just three more points for the victory, but Wisconsin Lutheran went on a 3-point run to tie it up. After the Petrels edged out to a 13-12 lead, the Warriors finished with three consecutive points to win the set, 15-13, and the match with it.
The Petrels were competitive for much of their second match of the day with Cardinal Stritch, but were unable to win a set, falling 25-23, 25-17, 25-23. The Petrels took a 7-5 lead early in the first set of their match with the Wolves, but Cardinal Stritch prevailed in what was a back-and-forth first set. Oglethorpe also had a lead early in the second set, as they held an 8-7 advantage at one point. However, the Wolves reeled off a 12-4 run and eventually pulled away for the 25-17 victory to go up 2-0.
The Petrels used a 6-0 run to take a 10-4 lead early in the third and final set. An 8-0 run turned a 13-7 lead into a 15-13 deficit, though. Oglethorpe bounced back to take a 23-21 lead late, but Cardinal Stritch finished with four straight to win, 25-23.
Sophomore outside hitter Jacoby Sims had 11 kills against Cardinal Stritch, while junior outside hitter Brianna Chin hit .412 with nine kills. Freshman setter Emma Williams passed out nine assists, while fellow freshman setter Grace Holder came up with 12.
Sims also led the way with 11 kills against Wisconsin Lutheran, hitting .385 in the process. Holder passed out 16 assists in the match, while junior defensive specialist Alex Prots collected 11 digs. Senior middle hitter Haili Nelson recorded four total blocks.
The Petrels will be back in action from Plymouth on Saturday. They'll close out their stay at the Lakeland University tournament with matches against Wisconsin-La Crosse at 1 p.m. Eastern and hosts Lakeland at 3 p.m.