Wrangler Volleyball outlasts Midland College in Five Sets

Jacob Ford:Odessa American
Jacob Ford:Odessa American

Alexis Parrish had 14 kills and 4.5 blocks Wednesday as Odessa College outlasted Midland College 25-18, 25-20, 22-25, 24-26, 15-10 in WJCAC volleyball action at the Chaparral Center.

Odessa College (13-5 overall, 3-1 WJCAC) pulled into a tie for second place in the conference standings with Midland College (14-6, 3-1) one match back of New Mexico Military Institute.

"This win's big for us," Odessa College coach Kristi Gray said. "It's always hard to win on the road and it's always hard to come here and play against Midland. Everyone knows we have the crosstown rival, so any time we can win on the road, especially at MC, it's good to come away with a win."

Odessa College finished with a .216 attack percentage with 58 kills and 18 errors in 176 total attempts. The Lady Wranglers enjoyed balance on offense with Mariana Ferreira, Gabriela Abreu, Haley Thomas and Carly Evetts each putting down nine kills, while Rashai Kailiwai had six kills.

The Lady Wranglers finished with 10 total blocks with Evetts adding 2.5 and Thomas getting 1.5.  Amanda Oliveira had 27 assists with Summer Ah Choy recording 24. Ferreira led Odessa College with 31 digs while Faith Sanchez had 21.

Hayden Smyers and Akor Maywin each had 14 kills to lead Midland College with Lauren Watanabe adding 11 kills and a team-high 22 digs. Maywin, a Permian graduate, also had 2.5 blocks with Smyers getting two and Watanabe 1.5.

Midland College finished with a .166 attack percentage with 54 kills and 22 errors in 193 total attempts.  Desiree Marmolejo had 31 assists and 15 digs. Emylia Espinosa added 12 digs.

In the opening set, Odessa College took the lead for good at 5-4 on a kill by Abreu and led 18-11 before Midland College pulled within 19-17 on a kill by Smyers. Thomas got the kill on the next point for a side out, starting a 5-0 run that brought the Lady Wranglers to set point before Ferreira got the final kill.

The second set saw eight ties and eight lead changes before Odessa College pulled away at the end. Evetts and Parrish combined for a block to tie it at 18 and Abreu put the Lady Wranglers in front with a kill on the next point as Odessa College closed it out with an 8-2 run.

The Lady Wranglers looked ready to complete the sweep, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the third set, before Midland College came back. The Lady Chaparrals took advantage of illegal-set calls against Odessa College on three consecutive points to get back in the game and took their first lead at 12-11. The Lady Wranglers tied it five times, the last at 17-17, before Midland College got the winning kill from Lina Espejo.

In the fourth set, Odessa College held a slim lead early before the Lady Chaps took the lead at 17-16 on a kill by Smyers. Hallie Silvas' ace put the Lady Wranglers back in front at 19-18 and Odessa College reached match point on a kill by Kailiwai, but Midland College scored the next four points to force a fifth set.

Odessa College took control early in the deciding set, leading 8-3 at the changeover before the Lady Chaps came back one more time, closing to within 10-8 on a kill by Chesney Friesenhahn. The Lady Wranglers got kills from Ferreira and Parrish to spark a 4-1 run to close out the match.

Article By Sam Waller: Odessa American 
Photo By Jacob Ford: Odessa American