COLUMBIA — After five matches in six days and more than 24 hours of traveling, the Columbia College volleyball team is getting a well-deserved rest.
The Cougars went 4-1 during the stretch, which included a four-game tournament in Brownsville, Texas. The team's travel included a two-hour bus ride to St. Louis, a two-hour flight to Dallas and a nine-hour bus ride to Brownsville.
The team arrived back at 8:30 p.m. Sunday and was back on the court Monday to play Hannibal-LaGrange.
The fatigue was evident Monday. After quickly winning the first set 25-14, Columbia College lost the second set, 23-25. The Cougars rebounded to win the final two sets.
Columbia College’s inconsistency could be a result of all the travel, but also related to setter Paula Ferreira, who suffered a leg injury in the Brownsville tournament. Ferreira played Monday, but coach Melinda Wrye-Washington said she was 50 percent.
“When she can’t jump set or block, that changes things for us,” Wrye-Washington said. “Getting her healthy is key."
Ferreira, meanwhile, seemed more concerned about the team's play than her injury.
“We can’t have up and downs against good teams,” Ferreira said.
The Cougars struggles were apparent. They missed digs they would normally execute and even let a couple of balls drop in between two or three standing players. After one ball fell between Ferreria and senior libero Tally Mattos, Ferreira let out a sigh.
"There were two or three balls that dropped that she would normally get," Wrye-Washington said. "This is something she'll get over in a couple days, but for now, it hurts."
Despite the “roller coaster ride,” as outside hitter Serena Jenkins called it, the Cougars (13-2) found a way to win.
“It’s good to be able to win when you are tired,” Wrye-Washington said.
The team will have only two days to recharge before going back into action against Missouri Baptist on Thursday. But after the workload of the past week, the break will be welcome.