The Oglethorpe volleyball team got their season off to an outstanding start Friday, sweeping both Piedmont and Emory and Henry 3-0 at the Emory Classic in their first two matches of the season. The Stormy Petrels defeated the Lions 25-20, 25-20, 25-19 in the morning, then came back in the afternoon and beat the Wasps 25-13, 25-15, 25-14. They'll look to extend their 2-0 start to 3-0 Saturday morning when they play Belhaven at 11 a.m.
The Petrels jumped all over Piedmont in the opening set, embarking on an 11-1 run to open the contest. The Lions worked back to within six points later in the set, but Oglethorpe was able to put away the 25-20 win. The second set saw the Petrels jump to a 5-0 advantage early and they expanded that to 11-4. The Lions used three straight points to get back into the set, pulling to within 14-11. Oglethorpe won four of the next five points to build a 19-13 lead, but Piedmont came back with three straight to pull it back to 19-16. From there, though, the Petrels went on a 5-2 run to take control of the set.
Oglethorpe jumped out early in the third and final set, as well. They ran off six straight points to build a 9-4 lead. A four-point Piedmont run pulled them to within a point, but Oglethorpe took control of the set with five consecutive, pushing out to a 16-10 advantage. They cruised to the victory from there, winning the set 25-19 and taking their season-opening match.
Sophomore outside hitter Emilee Etter led the team with 13 kills, while junior libero Hailee Bugg pulled 19 digs and freshman outside hitter Jackie Schner contributed 11. Sophomore setter Emma Williams led the team with 16 assists and sophomore setter Grace Holder came up with 10.
Against Emory and Henry in the afternoon, the Petrels dominated from start to finish. They ran out to a 14-6 lead early in the first set and closed out the stanza by winning the last five points. They picked up in the second set where they left off in the first, rolling to a 5-0 lead. The Wasps came back to tie the score 6-6, but the Petrels pulled out to a 17-11 lead, then ran off seven consecutive points to all but end the set, 24-14. In the third and final stanza, Oglethorpe pushed to a 7-3 advantage early on. After Emory and Henry came back to tie it 7-7, Oglethorpe responded with a 7-1 stretch to make it 14-8, then closed the proceedings with an 8-2 run, winning the third set 25-14.
Schner led the squad with 10 kills and 11 digs in the match. Holder chipped in 10 assists.