Playing at home for the first time can bring plenty of jitters and butterflies.
The Odessa College Lady Wranglers overcame the first-game nerves to notch a four-set, 25-17, 25-19, 24-26, 25-21 victory over the Cisco College Lady Wranglers on Wednesday night in a nonconference volleyball match at the OC Sports Center.
In the opening sets, Odessa College (4-1) trailed early before fighting back and winning. The preparation has been solid early on, but there are still a lot of things that need to be worked on.
"I think they were nervous. Despite what they say, we've had a great week of practice and, unfortunately for us, that did not transition into tonight's game," Odessa college head coach Kristi Gray said. "And so I need to do a better job of figuring out what that is and why they are nervous playing on our home court for the first time.
"It's great that they show heart and fight in them, and do come back."
Odessa College trailed 2-1 in the first set before taking a 10-point lead. A kill by Carly Evetts made the score 18-7 in the middle of the frame, giving Odessa College its largest lead of the entire match.
Cisco College (1-5) cut the deficit down to six points, but Odessa College prevailed with a 25-17 win.
In the second set, Cisco scored four unanswered points. Mariana Ferreira tallied a kill to cut the Cisco lead to three points. Cisco extended its lead to five points, but Odessa College began a rally with a clutch kill by Evetts that cut the deficit to two.
Evetts and Gabriela Abreu teamed up for a block that tied up the set, 12-12.
From that point on, Odessa College kicked its offense into third gear. Rashai Kailiwai delivered a kill to give Odessa a 22-17 lead. Odessa held on to win the second set by six points.
The tide turned in favor of Cisco College in the third set after erasing a seven-point deficit to win a nail-biter set, 26-24.
After the wake up call, Odessa College jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the fourth set after a kill by Ferreira. A ball found the floor on a kill by Kailiwai, which extended the Odessa lead to seven points.
Cisco College put up a fight late in the set, but Odessa held on for the 25-21 win.
Ferreira led Odessa College with 14 kills and 14 digs, while Evetts had 11 kills. Eugena Faamaus finished with 10 kills.
Summer Ah Choy finished with three service aces and eight digs.
"I think it's hard because it's the first game at home, we are nervous," Ferreira said. "I think we're good. We practice every day for this moment and I think we played together. "We lost one set, but we did the best job we could and we won the game."
Article by Peter Dindinger: Odessa American
Photos Jacob Ford: Odessa American