The Odessa College volleyball team needed only three sets to claim the bragging rights in the most recent chapter of its rivalry against Midland College, winning in a sweep on Saturday at the Chaparral Center.
The Lady Wranglers won 25-13, 25-20, 25-15, improving to 21-1 overall and 4-1 the Western Junior College Athletic Association.
The Lady Chaparrals fell to 10-10, 2-3.
Despite the win, problems in the second set continued to bother Odessa College head coach Kristi Gray.
"I wish we would've played more consistent," Gray said. "Our defense is stepping up and our offense is lacking."
The Lady Wranglers were coming off another sweeping win from earlier in the week against Clarendon College on Wednesday at home.
"Wednesday was kind of the opposite for us," Gray said. "Our offense was there and defense wasn't. I thought our defense today stepped up and our offense backed down little bit. We have to do a better job of not creating errors."
Kirsten Gomes had eight kills to lead Midland College, while Chesney Friesenhahn and Lina Espejo each had five.
The Lady Wranglers began the day on a strong run, taking a 6-1 lead in the first set. The Lady Chaparrals responded with a 3-3 run to cut their deficit to only three.
An error against Midland College gave Odessa College a 12-6 lead. Another error against the Lady Chaparrals soon after helped the Lady Wranglers to a 19-8 advantage.
Midland College's Chesney Fresenhahn got a kill to bring Midland College to a 10-point deficit. But it mattered little as the Lady Wranglers wrapped up the first set, comfortably with a 25-13 win.
"It's hard to score points when you're making unforced errors," Midland College head coach Tammie Jimenez said.
Odessa College began the second set on a 3-0 run. Midland College soon responded with a 3-0 run of its own to tie it up.
A kill by Rebecca Zenger for Odessa College tied the set up at 14-14. Midland College soon found itself in a 19-16 advantage.
The Lady Wranglers used a 3-0 run to tie it up. Odessa College kept up its new found momentum to take control of the remainder of the set.
A kill by Lyric Love gave Odessa College a 24-20 lead and the Lady Wranglers scored on the next play after Midland College hit the ball out of bounds.
"For us, recently, we've been struggling in the second set," Gray said. "I'm not sure what it is, but for some reason we do. We do pick things back up in the third set and it has to be consistent. It can't just be the first and third sets that we play well in."
Odessa College sprinted out of the gate in the third set, taking a 6-1 lead. The Lady Chaparrals trailed 9-2 when they called a timeout.
Midland College used a 5-0 run to cut 16-7 deficit to four points. An error by the Lady Chaparrals made it 21-14, Odessa College and the Lady Wranglers were not to be denied.
Despite the win, Gray said there was a lot to improve of for her team.
"We have to play better," Gray said. "We have to do better in the third set because otherwise that's going to hurt us against teams that we match up well against in the future."
ARTICLE BY MICHAEL BAUER: ODESSA AMERICAN