The Oglethorpe volleyball team found itself with a tough matchup Wednesday evening, facing off against the No. 5 Berry Vikings on the road in both teams' SAA opener. The home side controlled the match throughout a 3-0 win, winning sets 25-15, 25-13 and 25-20. The defeat dropped the Stormy Petrels to an even 4-4 on the season overall.
Berry hit .455 as a team in the opening set, never giving the Petrels a chance to catch their breath. Oglethorpe pushed out to an early 9-7 lead, but the Vikings went on a 9-1 run to take a 16-10 lead. After back-to-back Oglethorpe points, Berry went back on the warpath, finishing the set on a 9-3 run and winning it 25-15.
The Vikings got off to a better start in the second set, rolling off five straight points to take a 6-1 lead. The Petrels were able to cut the Berry lead to three a couple times, trailing just 12-9 midway through the stanza. However, the home side rolled off seven straight from there, then finished on a 6-2 run to win the second set 25-13. They hit .452 as a team in the second stanza.
The Petrels won the first five points of the third set, but Berry immediately responded with four straight of their own. Back-to-back Oglethorpe points gave them an 8-5 lead, but a 5-1 run by the Vikings put them ahead 10-9. The visitors responded, coming back with three straight to take a 13-11 lead. Berry turned the set in their favor for good, though, with a 9-1 stretch that gave them a 23-17 lead. They eventually won 25-20.
The Petrels will be back in action over the weekend, when they'll take to the Dorough Field House court for their home opener Saturday at noon. They'll take on Birmingham-Southern in that match, then return on Sunday for a doubleheader against Millsaps and Huntingdon.