The Oglethorpe volleyball team competed toe-to-toe with the No. 1 Emory Eagles in Thursday's opening set at the Woodruff PE Center, falling 27-25 after attaining set point at 25-24. Emory pulled away from there, though, taking the next two sets 25-11 and 25-18 to sweep the Stormy Petrels 3-0. The result dropped Oglethorpe to 5-8 on the season.
The Petrels got off to an outstanding start in the match, playing the top-ranked team in the country point for point. They kept the set close early, with Emory leading just 5-4. The Eagles did push out to a 9-4 lead with a four-point run, then slowly pulled out to an 18-11 advantage. After the teams traded points for a time, Emory led 20-13. However, the Petrels began a comeback at that point. They ran off four straight points to make it 21-18. Then, after Emory finished back-to-back points to make it 23-18, the Petrels embarked on a 7-1 run which included a stretch of five straight points. Suddenly, Oglethorpe had set point and a 25-24 lead. However, the home side responded with three straight points to take the set back, winning it 27-25. The Petrels outhit the Eagles in the opening set, accumulating a .241 hitting percentage to Emory's .190.
After that, Emory took control of the match. After an early three-point run by the visitors, the Eagles responded by outscoring the Petrels 23-8 the remainder of the set, giving themselves a 2-0 lead in the match.
The teams traded mini-runs early in the third set and Emory led just 9-8 in the opening part of the stanza. The home side pushed out to a couple of arm's-length leads as the set continued, but the Petrels continued to come back and stay in it. Down 15-11, Oglethorpe went on a 5-1 spurt to tie the score at 16-16. However, Emory began to pull away at that point, going on an 8-1 run to attain match point at 24-17. The put it away 25-18.
The Petrels will be back in action Saturday afternoon, when they get back to SAA play and host Centre in Dorough Field House at noon. After that, they'll welcome Sewanee to Dorough at noon on Sunday.