ARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma – The Wiley College volleyball team started the Oklahoma Wesleyan Invitational strong as it swept the host Oklahoma Wesleyan (25-23, 25-18, 25-21) Friday.
The Lady Wildcats (2-4) struggled in the first set and fell behind by eight points. They rallied and tied the set at 20 on a kill by Jayme Bazile and two errors by OKWU. An attack error gave Wiley its first lead of the set and it didn’t look back. Bazile and Olena Fedorenko got kills to clinch the set.
Wiley College jumped out early in the second set but Oklahoma Wesleyan kept it close. Late in the set, Lucille Ricord, who returned from injury, scored a kill along with Fernanda Aguiar and Bazile to put the Lady Wildcats ahead 21-15. Sydnie Beckett recorded back to back serving aces to seal the set.
The Lady Wildcats led by as many as six in the third set but Oklahoma Wesleyan was able to rally and cut the lead to one. Ricord scored a kill and Wiley took advantage of three attack errors to seal the match. In her first match of the season, Ricord, a candidate for Red River Athletic Conference MVP, recorded nine kills, six digs and two blocks.
“Lucy stepped up and played her heart out,” acting head coach Tenesha Robinson said. “She just has to get use to playing again and adjusting.”
Bazile led the team with 10 kills. Beckett led the team with 15 assists and three serving aces Noemi Garza put up 12 assists. Miyah Keller led the team with eight digs. Fedorenko was the team leader with four blocks.
Wiley lost in four sets to College of the Ozarks (25-22, 18-25, 21-25, 24-26) in its second match. The Lady Wildcats won the first set. After dropping the second set, Wiley fell behind but was able to rally and cut the lead to one. The rally ended as the Lady Wildcats were outscored 5-2.
Faced with a must-win, Wiley trailed 16-9 before going on a 11-4 run to tie the set at 20. The Lady Wildcats briefly held the lead but weren’t able to close out the set. Robinson said she felt good about the matches.
“We are improving more and more everyday,” Robinson said.
Statistics for the match against College of the Ozarks aren’t available because Oklahoma Wesleyan did not keep score at games that it didn’t play in. Wiley College wraps up the tournament with rematches against St. Gregory’s University at 9 a.m. and Southwestern Assemblies of God University at 3 p.m. Both matches will be broadcast at portal.stretchinternet.com/okwu.