COLUMBIA – There are two sides to Columbia College junior outside hitter Vesna Trivunovic. At one moment, she can be carefree, joking with a teammate, and then just like the speed of her spike, she changes and becomes an offensive nightmare for the opposing team.
The American Midwest Conference already honored her twice with player-of-the-week for her play.
When she is not hammering balls down at the opponent, Trivunovic can be seen laughing and joking with her teammates and coach Melinda Wrye-Washington.
Trivunovic says she brings "fire" to the team.
Whether she is focused or friendly, her voice is always heard even among the din of the echoes of the crowd and other players at Southwell Complex’s court.
“Let’s go!” she shouts.
But her role on the team is much bigger than the six feet she is listed at. Trivunovic’s outgoing personality and friendship with her fellow players is just as important as her killing ability.
"She brings a lot of personality to our team," Wrye-Washington said. "So if things are going really bad, she's not like down, or looking away from players. She's smiling and saying 'Give me the ball. I'm going to put the next one down.'"
After junior Tally Mattos scored the ace that ended the first game against Carroll College, Trivunovic went to Mattos, smiled and wrapped her arms around her teammate in congratulations.
"When we do something good," Mattos said, "we just hug each other because we like each other."
Wrye-Washington said she sometimes becomes slightly concerned with the enthusiasm in some of Mattos and Trivunovic's embraces.
"I worry about them injuring each other when it happens," she said.
Trivunovic also showed some talent unrelated to volleyball. During the second game against the College of the Ozarks, she stuck out her leg and kicked the ball into net like a soccer player, but unfortunately for Trivunovic, she was playing volleyball, not soccer.
Hailing from Zrenjanin, Serbia, Trivunovic is fond of soccer like many other Serbians and said she played since she was 10 or 11 years old.
"I like soccer," she said. "I like playing soccer and I played a long time."
Wrye-Washington is not worried when the maneuver happens.
"Everybody does that," she said. "That's pretty typical if you're a hitter and you get blocked down, if you're foot's there, you're obviously going to kick it."