Oct 13, 2017
On Friday night, the Oglethorpe volleyball team returned home from a seven-match road trip to face a tough SAA opponent, Birmingham-Southern. The Stormy Petrels fought valiantly, but failed to come away with a set in a 3-0 match that was closer than the score would indicate. The Petrels lost the three sets by a combined 11 points. The loss places the Petrels at 3-15 on the season and 1-10 in SAA play.
The Petrels were leading 3-2 early in the first set until the Panthers went on a 5-0 run, putting themselves ahead 7-3. The Petrels would then go on a 6-3 run to bring them within one point of the Panthers. The Panthers would counter with a 6-2 run of their own, building a 16-11 advantage. However, Oglethorpe would continue to fight, and was able to tie the set 19-19 after an 8-3 run. However, the Panthers used a 4-0 run to take control of the set, and eventually came away with a 25-23 victory.
The second set proved to be more difficult for the Petrels. The home side never led, but they did keep the stanza close, not falling behind by more than five points. They tied the set, 17-17, but the Panthers quickly responded with a 6-0 run to push out to a 23-17 lead. The Panthers eventually closed the set out, 25-19.
The third and final set began with the Petrels building an early 5-3 lead. The Panthers would swiftly recapture the advantage with a short 4-0 run. The Petrels refused to give up and, later in the set, they would run off four straight points themselves, taking a 14-11 lead in the process. The set would continue with neither team creating any significant advantage. Birmingham-Southern was able to finally push past the Petrels late in the frame, giving themselves a 25-22 win in the set and a hard-fought 3-0 win in the match.
Though the Petrels lost the match, they still had a few key performances from their players. Sophomore libero Taryn North led both teams with 22 digs. The Petrels also had strong offensive performances by junior outside hitter Santreece Stephens, who recorded 13 kills, and freshman outside hitter Jacoby Sims, who recorded 12 kills. In addition, senior setter Jordan Jones recorded 34 assists and 13 digs.
"I thought we fought hard against a very good Birmingham-Southern team," said Oglethorpe head coach Joseph Goodson. "We were in every set, and had a couple of opportunities to take one and extend the match. We'll look to improve and give ourselves a chance to win against Millsaps tomorrow."
The Petrels will remain at home on Saturday to take on SAA rival Millsaps at noon from Dorough Field House. The Petrels will then go on the road to face Piedmont on Thursday at 7 p.m. from Demorest. After that, they'll return to Dorough for their final regular season home matches against Sewanee and Centre next weekend.