The Oglethorpe volleyball team looked in good shape Saturday afternoon at Dorough Field House, up 2-1 after three sets as they went in search of their first SAA win of the year. The visiting Centre Colonels won the final two sets, though, to flip the match around and win 3-2. With the loss, the Stormy Petrels fell to 5-9 on the season overall and 0-4 in SAA play.
The Petrels got off to an outstanding start in the first set, reeling off a 9-0 run to take an early 9-1 lead. Centre worked their way back into the proceedings, though, as they went on a 6-0 run to cut it back to a 12-10 scoreline. The Petrels pushed their lead back out to 15-10, though, and then went on a five-point run to take a 21-13 lead. The Colonels came back with three straight to cut it to five, but the Petrels scored on three of the final four points of the set, taking the first frame 25-17.
Centre responded in a second set where the Petrels never really seemed to get on track, though. They slowly built a 10-5 lead, though Oglethorpe came back with three straight to make it 10-8. The visitors answered with a 5-1 run, though, extending their lead to 15-9. The Petrels cut it back to as little as a four-point spread later in the set, but Centre steadily pulled out to a 25-17 win in the second, tying the match.
The teams went back and forth early in the third, as the Petrels took a 5-0 lead and the Colonels responded and made it 6-4. A 6-2 run extended the Oglethorpe lead to 12-6, though, and they then went on a four-point run to make it 17-10. They followed that up with a five-point stretch, taking a commanding 23-13 lead. Centre used four straight of their own to get back to within six, 23-17, but the Petrels finished off three of the last four points to take the third set 25-19 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
It was Centre who got off to a big start in the fourth set, though, and they got out to a 10-8 advantage. The Petrels embarked on a 6-1 run to flip the lead into their favor, 14-11, but the visitors responded with a 6-3 spurt to take a 21-17 lead. Oglethorpe scored on four of five points to pull back to within one, 22-21, but Centre won the final three points and forced a decisive fifth set with a 25-21 win.
The teams went back and forth in the fifth. The Colonels took an early 5-3 lead, but Oglethorpe responded with a four-point run to go ahead 9-6. The Colonels came back and attained match point, going ahead 14-12, but the Petrels came back with two straight to tie it back up. However, the visitors scored on the final two points of the set to win it 16-14 and the match 3-2.
Freshman outside hitter Jackie Schner led the way for the Petrels, tallying 14 kills and 17 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Emilee Etter added 12 kills and hit. 303 for the match. Sophomore setter Emma Williams collected 26 assists while junior middle hitter TaKorya Green accumulated six service aces. Senior libero Alex Prots added 14 digs, as well.
The Petrels will get right back to action Sunday, when they host Sewanee in another SAA tilt at noon from Dorough Field House. They'll hit the road to go against Rhodes and Hendrix the following weekend.