The East Central volleyball team had its archrival, Southeastern’s Savage Storm, right where it wanted them. Until it didn’t.
The Tigers erased a 1-0 set deficit by holding off Southeastern 25-23 in the second set and dominating the third set by a 25-18 count.
However, the Savage Storm rallied to win the fourth set 25-19 before closing out the match with a 15-11 victory in the final set.
Southeastern improved to 5-9 overall and picked up its first conference win (1-1), while ECU remained winless in 2018 at 0-14 and 0-2.
The visitors took control of the fifth set by winning five of six points after the game was knotted at 2-2 to go on top 7-3.
The Tigers valiantly stayed in the game after SOSU went up 14-7 by winning four straight points — including a nice kill by Audra Jonas — before the visitors closed East Central out with a kill from Hannah Grant.
After winning the first set 25-20, Southeastern scored six straight points in the second set to surge to a 17-14 lead.
ECU responded by winning four consecutive points — including a big serve ace by Abbey Wehrman — to grab an 18-17 advantage. The score seesawed from there. But with SOSU on top 23-22, the Tigers took advantage of three straight Southeastern errors to steal the set and tie the match at 1-1.
Leading the way for the Tigers was Karina Erreguin with 13 kills, eight blocks and three assists. Kaitlyn Coffey added 12 kills for ECU.
The Tigers got 37 assists from Sydney Dungen, while Kasey Beeler added 16 digs.
Southeastern got a match-high 22 kills from Abby Jameson, 42 assists from Sydney Meget and 29 digs by Caitlin Cosby.
East Central travels to Alva today for a noon match with Northwestern. The Rangers are 11-5 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
The Tigers return home at 7 p.m. Tuesday opposite Oklahoma Baptist.