The Oglethorpe volleyball team, seeded eighth in the SAA Volleyball Tournament this weekend, fell 3-0 in their quarterfinal matchup to top-seeded Berry Friday afternoon at the Cage Center in Mount Berry, Georgia. The defeat dropped the Stormy Petrels out of the tournament and saw their campaign come to a close with a 4-21 overall record.
The Petrels fought hard against the top-seeded Vikings, who went through SAA play undefeated during the regular season, but the home side was just too strong in the end. The Petrels held a 3-0 lead very early on, and hung with the Vikings throughout the early part of the opening set. With the score tied at 7-7, though, Berry embarked on a 13-2 run to take complete control of the set and build a 20-9 advantage. With the Vikings on top 22-11, Oglethorpe responded with a 6-0 run of their own, pushing back into contention at 22-17. However, Berry did not allow another point, and the home side finished off the set, 25-17.
In the second, the Petrels were again able to get out to an early edge, this time taking a 4-3 lead. They were able to extend it in the second set, though, going on a 6-1 run to take a 10-7 lead, then extending their advantage even further with a 6-1 stretch to build a 16-10 advantage. The Vikings responded from there, going on an 11-2 run to flip the set into their favor, 21-18. Consecutive Oglethorpe points brought them back to within one, but Berry finished off the frame with four consecutive points to win it, 25-20.
The third set was also competitive early. The two teams went back and forth with neither building a lead larger than two points. Oglethorpe led 7-6, while Berry held leads of 11-9 and 13-11. After Oglethorpe made the score 13-12 midway through the set, though, Berry again embarked on a run that would give them control of the set, as they scored the next 11 points to give themselves match point and a 24-12 lead. The Petrels staved off elimination once, but Berry was able to close it down at 25-13.
Senior setter Jordan Jones led the Petrels in her final collegiate match, recording team highs with 22 assists and 11 digs. Junior middle hitter Ashlee Tolbert recorded five kills en route to a .364 hitting percentage, committing just a single attack error the entirety of the contest. She also led the team with three total blocks. Freshman outside hitter Jacoby Sims and junior right-side hitter Evan Furst tied for the team lead with seven kills apiece.
The season comes to a close for the Petrels with an overall record of 4-21 and a conference mark of 2-12. The Petrels will look to continue to build headed into the offseason, and will come back ready to move up the SAA standings during the 2018 campaign.