The Oglethorpe volleyball team picked up their first SAA win of the season Sunday, as they ended their six-match road trip with a 3-1 victory over Rhodes in Memphis, Tennessee. Down 1-0 after falling 25-23 in the first set, the Stormy Petrels responded by winning three unanswered sets, taking the second and third 25-20, and the fourth 25-22. The result improved the Petrels to 3-13 on the season overall and 1-9 in SAA play.
The first set began with neither team mounting any significant advantage over the other. Once the Petrels found themselves down by four points, their largest deficit of the set, they turned it around with a 4-0 minirun, tying the set 13-13. After trading a few points, the set was tied 21-21, but the Lynx were able to go on a 3-0 run, giving themselves the 24-21 lead. The Lynx would end up winning the hard-fought set, 25-23.
The Petrels came storming back, though, beginning with a very good second set. With the set tied 9-9, the Petrels entered a stretch where they looked unstoppable by going on an 11-3 run and giving themselves the 20-12 lead. The Lynx quickly bounced back with an 8-3 run of their own, though, putting the score at 23-20 in favor of the Petrels. Oglethorpe was able to recover, taking the final two points of the set to secure a 25-20 victory.
After the Petrels were down early in the third set, they rallied back with a 6-0 run to take a 10-8 lead. A few points later, the Petrels would continue their dominant performance by constructing an 8-2 run, pushing their lead out to 19-12. From there, the two teams would exchange points until the Petrels would finally earn the victory by winning the set, 25-20.
The fourth and final stanza continued with the competitive nature of the entire match. The set was tied at 4-4 until the Petrels built a 7-3 run giving them an 11-7 advantage. Immediately the Lynx responded with a 5-2 run, shortening the Petrels' advantage to 13-12. The Petrels would come right back with a 5-1 stretch, pushing their lead out to 19-13. The Lynx wouldn't give up and were able to tie the set 19-all, but Oglethorpe would follow up with 5-0 run, putting themselves within one point of victory, 24-19. The Petrels eventually won the set 25-22, clinching the 3-1 victory.
In the hard-fought win, the Petrels had many outstanding performances from key players. Senior setter Jordan Jones recorded an outstanding 41 assists, as well as 13 digs and 4 kills. In their defensive roles, freshman defensive specialist Hailee Bugg recorded 23 digs and sophomore libero Taryn North led both teams with 33 digs. Additionally, junior outside hitter Santreece Stephens led both teams, tallying 19 kills.
"This was a total team effort," said Oglethorpe head coach Joseph Goodson. "We have been improving steadily this season. Progress takes time, but our women have been patient and have kept at it. We have overcome illness and injury, and I think we're ready to make a big push between now and the conference tournament. The key to our improvement has been everyone understanding their roles and working to make us better."
The Petrels will return home on Friday at 7 p.m. to face Birmingham-Southern inside Dorough Field House. The Petrels will remain at home on Saturday to take on Millsaps at noon.