Despite having only seven players available due to injury, the Odessa College volleyball team survived a five-set thriller against Midland College Wednesday.
The Lady Wranglers defeated the Lady Chaps 25-23, 25-23, 24-26, 19-25, 16-14 in Western Junior College Athletic Conference play at the OC Sports Center.
“I think they played with heart today,” Odessa College head coach Dayana Acevedo-Rios said. “We’ve been dealing with a lot of injuries so we only had seven people ready to play today.
“They were tired in set three, set four but in set five they just decided to put everything on the line and they played together and that was fun to watch.”
Odessa College (11-3 overall, 4-2 WJCAC) came into the match on a two-match winning streak, while Midland College fell against New Mexico Military Institute Saturday.
The match needed to be stopped shortly after the ball was served to start things up because of an injury on the Midland College end and the Lady Wranglers took advantage to grab momentum early.
Odessa College would go on to hold a lead the entirety of the first set despite seeing the Lady Chaps cut their advantage to 24-23 late.
Daniela Rodrigues showed up multiple times on the offensive end for the Lady Wranglers, contributing multiple kills to help her team get back in it when it would fall behind in the second set.
Midland College showed its fight throughout the second set, finding different ways to tie the score up 11 times before the Lady Wranglers would win it to go up by two sets.
Both teams relied on scoring bursts to jump in front at different points in the match, but the Lady Chaps took control when they pulled off a third-set victory.
A fourth set win for Midland College ended up being the largest margin of victory for both teams, as they needed a fifth set to decide who would win the rivalry matchup.
After being tied 3-3 early in the final set, the Lady Chaps built a lead and held on until they were up 12-7 and Acevedo-Rios called a timeout to get her team to regroup.
With its back against the wall, Odessa College would outscore Midland College 9-2 late to seal its third straight conference win.
“I think they were very resilient today, I think they were having fun,” Acevedo-Rios said. “They were playing like there was nothing on the line, they were just having fun and playing volleyball.
“When you switch that mentality to just have fun, I think you come together as a team and take care of business with heart.”
Rodrigues would lead the Lady Wranglers with 16 kills, while Serenity Mamizuka had 18 digs on the defensive side.
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Odessa College def. Midland College
25-23, 25-23, 24-26, 19-25, 16-14
Wednesday at OC Sports Center
Kills — Odessa College: Daniela Rodrigues 16, Ainara Fernandes 15, Yasmin Figueiredo 11, Myllena Torquetti 10, Serenity Mamizuka 4, Vanessa Cantoni 1.
Blocks — Odessa College: Cantoni 5, Torquetti 4, Figueiredo 3, Fernandes 2, Rodrigues 1.
Assists — Odessa College: Cantoni 55.
Digs — Odessa College: Mamizuka 18, Cantoni 15, Isil Yilmaz 14, Rodrigues 10, Fernandes 9, Torquetti 7, Figueiredo 3.
Aces — Odessa College: Mamizuka 4, Cantoni 3, Figueiredo 3, Fernandes 1, Torquetti 1.
Midland College 12-6 overall, 4-2 WJCAC; Odessa College 11-3, 4-2.