The Oglethorpe volleyball team fell to the visiting Covenant Scots in the opening set Wednesday night at Dorough Field House, but roared back over the next three to take down their opponent 3-1. Covenant won the first set 25-22, but the Stormy Petrels then ran off victories of 25-17, 25-14 and 25-18 to take the match. The result improved the team to 5-7 on the season.
The Scots got out to a 6-3 lead early in the first set, but Oglethorpe responded with a 7-1 run to jump ahead of the visitors 11-8. Covenant slowly worked their way back to even, though, making it 15-15 a few points later. They then went on a 4-0 run to push out to a 20-16 advantage. The Petrels responded in kind with a 5-1 stretch, tying the score again, this time at 21-21. However, the Scots won the final three points of the set to take it 25-22.
This put Oglethorpe, who was trying to snap a seven-match losing streak, back on their heels briefly. The home side came back out in the second set and took the fight to their opponent, though. They got out to a 3-0 lead early, then began pulling away after the Scots came back to tie it at 6-6. The Petrels embarked on a 14-4 run to push out to a 20-10 advantage. Covenant came back with a 7-2 run of their own, giving themselves a chance at 22-17. The Petrels reeled off three points in a row to end it, however, winning the second set 25-17 and evening the match at 1-1.
Junior middle hitter TaKorya Green came alive to start the third set, while she and sophomore outside hitter Emilee Etter got on big runs on serve to spark the Petrels. Etter served the first 10 points of the third set and the Petrels took an early 9-0 lead in that stanza. Green recorded two kills and two blocks during that run. Covenant came back with a 7-1 run of their own to cut the Oglethorpe lead to just 12-8, then followed that up with a 4-1 mini-run to make it 15-12. However, Etter got on serve again and this time stayed for eight straight points, keying an 8-0 Oglethorpe run. The Petrels went on to put away the set 25-14 and take a 2-1 lead.
They picked up the fourth set where they left off in the third, starting on a 4-1 run, then expanding that stretch to 6-1 to take a 10-4 lead. Oglethorpe used a 5-1 run, again keyed by Etter on serve, to push out to a 17-9 advantage. The Scots made a last push, rolling off four straight to make it 17-13. However, the Petrels used four straight to attain match point at 24-16. They went on to win the set, 25-18, and the match, 3-1.
Green led the way with 13 kills and five blocks, accumulating a .300 hitting percentage. Etter contributed 11 kills, nine digs and three service aces. Junior setter Malisa Reichard led her team with 21 assists, while freshman setter Bethany Cudnik added 11. Senior libero Alex Prots led all participants with 28 digs. Freshman outside hitter Jackie Schner added 13 digs and seven kills.
The Petrels get right back to work on Thursday evening, when they'll travel across town to Emory for likely their toughest matchup of the season. The Petrels will take on the No. 1 Eagles from the Woodruff PE Center at 6 p.m.
After that, they'll return home for SAA matches against Centre and Sewanee on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.