Stephens volleyball players keep heads up as season progresses

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 | 10:23 p.m. CDT; updated 11:06 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Stephens College right side hitter Madison Reale, left, and middle blocker Kelsie Byrd go up for a block in their game against Park University on Tuesday. The Pirates defeated the Stars, who fell to 5-11 for the season.

COLUMBIA — The Stephens College volleyball team's 5-11 record might indicate a team in trouble, but the players aren't giving up.

Despite fighting a sore right shoulder, Stars outside hitter Jenna Zmyslony played impressively in Tuesday's 3-1 loss to visiting Park University.

Stephens lost the first set 25-15. Then, after falling behind early in the second set, Zmyslony had several kills that helped the Stars tie the set at 15. The score stayed even until another Zmyslony kill put the Stars ahead, and during her service point, Stephens won the set, 25-23.

Zmyslony said being a part of such a tight-knit team made it easy for her to play hard on the court.

"When Coach (Rose Obunaga) was in Africa a few weeks ago, that's when we really clicked," Zmyslony said. "With her gone, we were coaching each other, and it helped us gain respect for each other."

Park, boasting a larger bench and taller roster, had an obvious advantage on the court, though. With only eight players in rotation, the Stars began to tire, and the Pirates took the third and fourth sets, winning both 25-12.

Obunaga said she was pleased with her players' performance.

"It's not easy to get a set on Park," Obunaga said. "After the first set, I told them to just keep fighting and seize the moment. They performed well."

Stephens is set to compete this weekend at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy Tournament.

Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.


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