The Oglethorpe volleyball team found themselves in a competitive match Wednesday evening against a Berry team that was 5-0 in SAA play coming in. The Stormy Petrels had chances to win two sets, but the visiting Vikings prevailed in all three, in the end, winning 3-0. Berry took the first set 25-21, the second 25-15, and the third 25-22. The loss dropped the Petrels to 2-8 on the season overall and 0-6 in SAA play.
The Petrels got off to a good start in the opening set, rolling off the first four points of the match. Berry quickly came back with four straight of their own to make it 4-4, and the two teams traded points a couple times after that, making it 7-7 early in the set. The Vikings would go on a run of five consecutive points, though, making it 11-7, before the Petrels came back with a run of their own, a 5-1 stretch that tied the score at 14-14. With the score tied at 16-apiece, Berry went on the run that would all but clinch the set, embarking on an 8-1 stretch that gave them a 24-17 lead. The Petrels would not give up, though, staving off set point four straight times to make it 24-21. The visitors were finally able to close it out, though, taking the opening frame 25-21.
Outside of a 3-0 mini-run to start, the Petrels never got untracked in the second set. The Vikings blew the set open with a 16-4 run from there, giving themselves a 16-7 advantage. Oglethorpe had a couple runs left in them, running off four straight to make it 16-11 and three consecutive to make it 19-14. Berry put things away from there, however, taking it 25-15 and pushing out to a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set proved to be a highly competitive, back-and-forth affair. Oglethorpe pushed to a 4-2 advantage early, but Berry answered back with an 8-1 run to take a 10-5 lead. The Petrels came back in a large way, though, going on an 8-1 run of their own to take the lead back, 13-11. Four straight Berry points vaulted them back in front, 15-13, and the Vikings and Petrels traded points for a time to make it 18-16. A 4-1 mini-run by Berry put them ahead 21-17, but that was followed by three straight from Oglethorpe, making it 21-20. Three straight Berry points put them on the brink of clinching the match, as they went ahead 24-20. The Petrels staved off elimination a couple times, driving the score to 24-22. The Vikings closed it out from there, though, winning the set 25-22 and the match 3-0.
The Petrels did get some very good individual performances, led by freshman outside hitter Jacoby Sims, who recorded 14 kills and hit .344 for the match. She also came up with eight digs and two service aces on the evening. Sophomore Taryn North led the team in digs with 17, while senior setter Jordan Jones led all participants with 25 assists. Junior Ashlee Tolbert collected a team-high three blocks and also hit. 300, recording four kills.
"Despite what our record shows, we are moing in the right direction," said Oglethorpe head coach Joseph Goodson. "Berry is a very good team and we played with them point for point. Our breakthrough is coming very soon!"
The Petrels will be back in action over the weekend, as they hit the road for more SAA play. They'll take on Centre from Danville, Kentucky, Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sewanee from Sewanee, Tennessee, Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern. After that, they'll head across town to Decatur Oct. 5 for a tri-match with host Agnes Scott and No. 3 Emory, starting with the Agnes Scott match at 4 p.m.