COLUMBIA — Stephens College libero Suhey Campos said she felt quite a few nerves before her collegiate debut against Central Methodist University on Wednesday.
"I just kept thinking to myself, 'I can't let my team down, I can't let my team down,'" Campos said.
Campos consistently controlled the middle against Central Methodist throughout Wednesday's match, sitting for only short periods of time. She was one of seven Stephens volleyball players who played their first match Wednesday. But Campos' efforts were not enough, as the Stars lost three sets to none.
Coach Rose Obunaga said the first game of the season can bring a lot of pressure to players, but the nerves were not the reason why the team lost.
"Our hitting was really good," Obunaga said. "But with their (Central Methodist's) height advantage, they were hitting on top of us. We are still trying to learn how to play against the top block."
Campos had the most playing time among the seven freshmen. She said the speed was the biggest thing she noticed in the transition from high school to college volleyball.
"You just see the passing, setting and hitting come together a lot faster," Campos said.
Freshman outside hitter Tylar Grant said that with such a young team early in the season, chemistry can be an issue. Communication is one way to fix that problem, she said.
"We need to be louder," Grant said. "Some girls got confused on whose ball it was. But with more time, the chemistry will come."
Going forward, Obunaga said the biggest thing her freshmen need is to overcome the pressure.
"I played for a long time and know how the nerves treat you," Obunaga said. "As they play more games, the girls will step out of it."
This weekend, the Stars will head to Kansas City for a two-day, four-match tournament. Obunaga said the girls need to just focus on the big picture.
"With so many freshmen, I just have to take it as it comes," Obunaga said. "The more they play, the better they will become."