The Oglethorpe volleyball team took out visiting Wesleyan (Georgia) in straight sets Wednesday night at the Dorough Field House, defeating them 25-5, 25-8, 25-12. The Stormy Petrels got solid performances across the board and saw their entire active roster get action in the match. The result improved the Petrels to 9-17 on the season.
The Petrels hit .556 for the match as a team, including a .737 mark in the opening set. They also got 18 service aces in total, seven of them coming from freshman defensive specialist Brianna Hernandez. She also had six digs for the match. Freshman outside hitter Alex Prots recorded a match-high nine kills and hit .600 while sophomore middle hitter Ashlee Tolbert collected five kills on six total attacks with no errors. Junior middle hitter Kaitlyn Woodruff posted seven kills and a .545 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, junior setter Jordan Jones collected a match-high 21 assists and sophomore defensive specialist Lexi Grams led all participants with eight digs. Sophomore outside hitter Savanna Hockman registered five kills and hit .333 while sophomore right-side hitter Evan Furst came up with four kills on six attacks, hitting .500. Freshman libero Sara Bahri posted a couple of digs and a couple of service aces.
Oglethorpe jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first set, then ran away from the visiting Wolves with subsequent runs of seven and four consecutive points. The Petrels eventually took the set, 25-5.
The Wolves took an early 2-0 lead in the second set, but the Petrels responded with an 8-0 run to build an 8-2 lead. After a brief period of trading points, the home side exploded with a 13-1 run to close out the stanza 25-8. The spurt featured separate runs of six and seven consecutive points.
The third set began 3-3, but Oglethorpe again pushed their advantage out quickly. They ran off five straight points to take an 8-3 lead, then went on an 11-1 spurt to push their advantage out to an insurmountable 20-7. The two sides traded points for much of the remainder of the set, but the Petrels finished with consecutive tallies for the 25-12 final margin.
"It's very nice to be back in the win column after a tough week where we had six matches in five days," said Oglethorpe head coach Richie Tang. "This was a great team effort all the way around tonight. I'm proud of the efforts from Kaitlyn, Alex, Ashlee, Savanna and Evan on the offensive side of things. Defensively, Lexi, Bri and Sara helped to better the ball so we could run our offense. I liked our movement today, we were very active. I think fall break helped us to get rested and recovered. We're certainly looking to close out SAA play on a positive note this weekend, with two very tough teams coming to the Blacktop."
The Petrels welcome Birmingham-Southern to Dorough Field House Saturday at 1 p.m. and bring in Millsaps on Sunday at 1 p.m. After that, they'll close out the regular season with a visit from Huntingdon on Thursday, Oct. 27, before getting ready for the SAA Tournament.