The last time Odessa College met its WJCAC rival, Midland College, the match was decided by a five-set thriller.
In the second edition of the rivalry, Odessa College swept the Lady Chaparrals, 25-23, 25-17, 25-21, Wednesday at the OC Sports Center.
The Lady Wranglers were in need of a win after losing to Frank Phillips College in five sets last weekend and New Mexico Military Institute, the top ranked team in the WJCAC.
"Any win feels good to us," Odessa College head coach Kristi Gray said. "We came off a tough loss this weekend against Frank Phillips, and I think we took it to heart and we came out this week and practiced hard and were focused for this game."
Odessa College (20-9 overall, 6-3 in WJCAC) brought a lot of intensity in the first set that was fueled by an energetic crowd. The Lady Wranglers increased their lead to 5-3 after a kill by Carly Evetts. Odessa College accelerated on offense as Rashai Kailiwai came away with a kill to make the score 9-5.
Midland College took a timeout trailing by five points. It later cut the deficit to two points, trailing 13-11.
The ending of the first set was suspenseful as the teams engaged in six ties before the Lady Wranglers pulled ahead to a 25-23 victory.
Odessa College had a solid second set after breaking two early ties. The Lady Wranglers led by nine points in the middle of the set, their largest lead of the night, and they were able to cruise to a 25-17 win to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Midland College (18-9, 6-3) did not want to go down without a fight. The Lady Chaparrals jumped out to a 10-5 lead to start the third set.
Trailing by five points, Odessa College battled back to tie the set at 14-all. From that point on it was a classic back-and-forth battle until Evetts came away with another kill to put the Lady Wranglers ahead by three.
The lead was short-lived as the Lady Chaparrals tied it up twice more. Odessa College finished on a 4-1 run to close out the set and match with a 25-21 win.
Mariana Ferreira led the Lady Wranglers with 10 kills and 12 digs, while Alexis Parish had seven kills and two blocks. Odessa College closes out the regular season at Clarendon College at 2 p.m. Saturday.
"To come back and win," Gray said about what was the overall focus of the third set. "We've been working a lot on playing from behind and winning, because we've been known to not finish, and so we've been working on that a lot lately."
Article and Photo by Peter Dindinger: Odessa American