The Oglethorpe volleyball team split a pair of matches at the Emory National Invitational on Friday afternoon in Atlanta, sweeping Salem in straight sets and falling to Washington and Lee in similar fashion. The results moved the Stormy Petrels to 6-22 to close the regular season.
The Petrels dominated their contest with Salem to open the day. They used a four-point run to take a 5-3 lead over the Spirits, then extended that with a 10-3 run later in the set to take a 15-9 lead. Salem brought it back to within three, 17-14, but the Petrels pulled away with a late 7-1 run and took the set 25-16.
The second set proved highly competitive early, as the teams traded points for the first half of the proceedings. There were 13 ties and eight lead changes over the course of the stanza. However, the Petrels pulled away late in the set. outscoring the Spirits 10-3 to close it out after Salem held a 16-15 edge. The Petrels won the set 25-19.
Oglethorpe ran away with the third set. Salem held a tenuous 8-6 lead, but the Petrels responded with six straight points to shoot ahead 12-6. After that, they finished the match on a 13-3 run and won the third set 25-13.
The Petrels were led in assists by freshman setters Grace Holder and Emma Williams, both of whom tallied 15. Senior middle hitter Ashlee Tolbert recorded six kills while hitting .545. Sophomore outside hitter Jacoby Sims led the Petrels with eight kills and junior outside hitter Brianna Chin led with seven digs.
Oglethorpe did not enjoy the advantage in the afternoon match against the Generals, however. Washington and Lee got off to a quick start with a 5-1 run early in the first set, a stretch that gave them a 9-5 lead. The Generals cruised from there to take a 1-0 lead in the match. In fact, after a 4-4 tie very early in the set, Washington and Lee outscored the Petrels 21-6 for the remainder of the stanza. They took the set 25-11.
The Petrels took a 3-2 lead very early in the second set, but the Generals responded with an 8-0 run and pushed ahead 10-3. The Petrels ran off four consecutive points to cut the Washington and Lee lead to 11-8, but the Generals came back with a 12-5 run to all but close the set. That made it 23-13. Oglethorpe outscored the opponent 5-1 over a mini-stretch and made the score 24-18, but Washington and Lee closed it out from there, winning the set 25-18.
It was much the same story in the third set. The Generals took a 16-5 lead before the Petrels ever found their footing. A 7-2 Oglethorpe run made it 18-12, but the Generals used a 6-1 burst to give themselves match point. The Petrels staved it off on consecutive points, but Washington and Lee closed it out 25-15.
Sims led the Petrels with six kills for the match while Holder recorded 10 assists. Williams led the squad with 11 digs.
The Petrels will now get set for the SAA Tournament, to be held Nov. 2-4 in Mount Berry, Georgia. The seventh-seeded Petrels will go against No. 2 seed Birmingham-Southern in the first round on Nov. 2 at a time to be announced.