By Reagan Leverett
The volleyball matchup on September 15 between Sewanee and Oglethorpe was a great show of skill and endurance. The game started off with Sewanee coming out strong with a show of dominance on their home turf.
Their back row, consisting of Sydney White (C’22), Olivia Nichols (C’21), and Destiny Stewart (C’21) was consistent in communication on the line, and they caught a lot of close balls that were out, which created an opportunity for them to maximize off of Oglethorpe’s mistakes and rack up a significant point deficit.
The back row also did a phenomenal job at absorbing attacks, allowing for setter Constance Connolly (C’20) to have a lot more freedom in her ball placement. The first two sets were won by Sewanee’s excellence in attack recovery, tight blocks, and defensive adjustments based off of anticipation of their opponent’s advances.
Two things allowed for Oglethorpe to keep up on the scoreboard in the last set, namely a lack of communication on Sewanee’s end and their opponent’s seemingly renewed sense of urgency and aggression. This meant that Sewanee gave the tail end of the game a slow start on their side.
Oglethorpe was not going down easy, and they made that clear by staying neck and neck with the Tigers throughout the third set. There was one point towards the end where the Tigers looked like they would be able to dig out of the four-point lead Oglethorpe created. However, their tireless work on the net to not only break down Oglethorpe’s back row, but also to stop their advances with strong blocks, wasn’t enough to stop their opponents, who emerged as champions of the third set with a score of 28-26.
Sewanee was ultimately crowned the victor of the match, dominating the fourth set by capitalizing on attacks, which forced Oglethorpe to play a largely defensive game. Even when a ball looked unreachable, the girls hustled tirelessly to keep it alive, giving them the advantage and team morale they needed to win the game.
Lily Reilly (C’22) commented, “I thought today was a really fun match to play and our team got better as the game went on. We all played really hard, and I’m honestly just super excited to play them again!”
“I’m glad we were able to rebound so well after the Berry loss. We struggled to cover our hitters against Berry and were able to make that adjustment against Oglethorpe,” said Coach Nancy Culver. “I thought Oglethorpe served extremely well and forced our passers to be uncomfortable, so our offense wasn’t as crisp as it could have been. Our team struggled in the third set, but I was glad we were able to refocus and finish the match in 4. The fourth set was probably one of the best from the entire weekend. We were more aggressive with our play and the result was a win.”