COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL: Lady Wranglers sweep Hill College to begin Odessa Invite

The Odessa College volleyball team began its run in the Odessa Invitational with a three-set win over Hill College Friday at the OC Sports Center.

Playing at home for the first time this season, the Lady Wranglers moved to 5-0 after defeating the Rebels by scores of 25-14. 25-21, 25-7.

It was the fourth game this season in which Odessa College swept an opponent.

After an easy win in the first set, the Lady Wranglers had a little trouble in the second set.

“I think our girls got too comfortable and they just thought they could go through the emotions and still be successful which this is why we play these games,” Odessa College head coach Dayana Acevedo-Rios said. “We have to make sure we stay at our level and take care of our side and forget about what’s happening on the other side. In the second set, we failed at that.”

Still, the Lady Wranglers managed to close out the game by dominating the third set.

“It’s good to learn and still be in control and be successful,” Acevedo-Rios said. “I can’t complain. I think the girls played really well. Hill College had an aggressive serve and I think our girls handled it well for the most part. I think we did a lot of great things on our side. We just need to stay more consistent.”

Odessa College’s Kayla Williams (4) goes up for the ball against Hill College’s Alexia Maynes (16), Mina Petrovic (5) in the first set Friday at the OC Sports Center. Michael Bauer|Odessa American

The Lady Wranglers remained in control for the majority of the first set, taking a 15-6 lead.

An error by the Rebels gave the Lady Wranglers an 18-9 advantage.

Odessa College used a 7-5 run to close things out.

A kill by Kayla Williams gave the Lady Wranglers a 4-2 lead early in the second set.

She would get another kill soon after to keep Odessa College in front.

However, Hill College kept things closer early in the set as the Rebels trimmed the Lady Wranglers’ lead to 7-5.

Consecutive errors allowed OC to take a 9-5 lead.

Odessa College’s Devyn Lewis (15) and Liliana Mechura (6) goe up for the ball against Hill College’s Daniela Echeverry (21) in the first set Friday at the OC Sports Center. Michael Bauer|Odessa American

Still, the Rebels stayed within striking distance and eventually tied things up at 12-12 before taking the lead on the following play for the first time.

Odessa College went on a 5-1 run to take a 17-13 lead.

Both teams traded points and things remained close but it was the Lady Wranglers who managed to close out the set with the win, 25-21.

While Odessa College struggled in the second set, the Lady Wranglers had no trouble whatsoever in the third set.

Odessa College began the third set on a 4-0 run.

A 3-0 run made it 10-4, Lady Wranglers, soon after.

Odessa College players celebrate during the first set against Hill College Friday at the OC Sports Center. Michael Bauer|Odessa American

Williams’ kill made it a six-point Odessa College lead and Devyn Lewis followed it up with a kill on the next play.

“I told the girls that we couldn’t pick and choose when you want to show up,” Acevedo-Rios said. “You have to be consistent. That’s how you earn respect and I think they went out there and took care of business. That’s what special about this team. These players can go out and take control of the game.”

The Lady Wranglers kept up their momentum and made it 16-4.

It wasn’t long after when Odessa College took the set, 25-7, and victory.

“I think Kayla Williams was great as far as attacking and shots,” Acevedo-Rios said. “Her defense was great. She got us a lot of points. Camila Canedo did a good job of picking up everything and staying in control with her passing. She communicated really well.”

Odessa College will continue with a 6 p.m. game against Indian Hills College.

The Lady Wranglers will be back on the court Saturday with an 11 a.m. contest against Snow College before finishing up at 5 p.m. against Panola College.

“Every team that is here is very physical and very athletic,” Acevedo-Rios said. “They have a lot of kids. I know they have a lot of different lineups that can come in and make an impact. I’m excited to see what’ll happen.”