COLUMBIA — After the Stars scored the match-winning point Monday against Central Methodist, the Stephens volleyball fans at Silverthorne Arena went wild — including Stephens coach Rose Obunaga.
"I was screaming like a little girl," Obunaga said after the Stars pulled out a 3-2 victory.
Nonconference rival Central Methodist, which had defeated Stephens in the teams' past two matches this season, took the first two sets, 25-12 and 25-21.
However, the Stars didn't let the losses get the best of them. The third and fourth sets were close throughout, but the Stars won both 25-23.
In the fifth and final set, Stephens was down early 7-11, but managed an impressive comeback and won 17-15.
Obunaga said that she was proud of the effort and resilience her team showed on the court.
"They wanted a win and got it," Obunaga said. "We really push ourselves and eventually it pays off. I'm so excited for them."
Starting at 10 a.m. Monday, the Stars had worked to hang handmade posters, pink streamers and balloons on the walls of the gym. It was Pink Out night, and the Stars players wore special pink jerseys and pink shoelaces in the match in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Obunaga said she thought the pink-out theme and her team decorating the gym together were motivators.
Sophomore setter Lanie Hurt said the time spent decorating the gym was a good chance for the team to relax together outside of practice, because they usually don't see each other because of busy class schedules.
"I don't really know how to describe it," Hurt said of the win. "I'm really proud we didn't get down after our initial two losses. We stayed tough. It's a sweet victory."
Middle hitter Kelsie Byrd found the win especially sweet. As a senior on the Stars team, Monday's game was her final chance to beat the Eagles.
"I am pumped," Byrd said, her voice hoarse from yelling throughout the match. "I've been waiting to beat them all year, and this was my last opportunity. It's feels great."
The Stars, now 7-12, will head to Batesville, Ark., on Friday to play a doubleheader against Lyon College. The first game is set to start at 4 p.m.
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.