COLUMBIA — On a volleyball team with just eight players in a competitive division, it is easy to give up. But Stephens senior Kelsey Benson has a different view.
“I gotta give it my all, 110 percent, all the time,” Benson said.
In a 25-19, 25-17, 25-15 loss on Wednesday to William Woods University in an American Midwest Conference opener at Stephens, Benson stayed positive and helped her teammates do the same.
“Shake it off, shake it off," Benson shouted at two of her teammates who were discussing a missed play right before the William Woods Owls were about to serve again.
Her coach hasn't failed to notice her mind-set.
“She’s got a great attitude,” Stars coach Shane McAfee said. “She’s a senior, and she's showing senior leadership.”
Besides leadership, Benson is also working on how to ignore the possibility of getting hurt, such as when she dove one-handed for a ball that was sinking fast in the first set.
“It was awesome. It was one of those things that I don’t even think about it,” Benson said, “You just know that that ball can’t touch the floor.”
Benson admitted she is having some trouble adapting to a new rotation that has a long switch with senior Chrissy Echeverria, but she said she knows she must be versatile and adapt to what is going on.
Later, in the second set, Benson got hit by a ball that deflected off of junior Laura Ward’s hands, but Benson was all right.
“You gotta just laugh it away,” Benson said. “It’s volleyball, you don’t have time to think of that last bump and bruise, you just go with it.”
Benson and the rest of the Stars (0-2, 0-1) will compete in the Avila Tournament this weekend in Avila University in Kansas City.