Stephens improves against Hornets

Stars pick up second win despite struggles during second game.
Tuesday, October 7, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:56 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

The Stephens College volleyball team showed some character Monday night at Silverthorne Arena.

The Stars’ defeated Harris-Stowe 30-12, 26-30, 30-20, 30-27, overcoming a sloppy performance in their second game.

Stephens had 12 unforced errors compared to the Hornets’ two. Despite the discrepancy, Stephens traded leads with the Hornets throughout Game 2.

Stephens’ communication, which was strong most of the night, seemed to falter in the second game and allowed the Hornets to tie the match.

Freda Runnells, a sophomore middle hitter for the Stars, said an easy win in Game 1 gave Stephens a false sense of security and caused the team’s lack of concentration.

“I think it’s the same thing that happens to any team when it comes in with too many expectations,” Runnells said. “We fought through it, and that shows character.”

The Stars (2-8) scored 16 of the first 23 points in the first game before Hornets coach Jeff Taylor called a timeout. Stephens did not slow down. An ensuing 8-1 run pushed their lead to 24-8.

The match victory was more decisive than the team’s first meeting on Sept. 23, in which the Stars’ also beat the Hornets (0-8) in a back-and-forth five-game match.

The team’s improvement is a result of playing smarter and together, assistant coach Dane Pavlovich said.

“We’re doing a lot better job of taking care of the dump shots,” Pavlovich said. “We’re recognizing it better, and when you’re doing that as a team, you can tell everybody’s on the same page.”

Runnells, who dominated the middle for the Stars, had 17 kills and 16 blocks.

“Sarah (Burris) and Katie Aichholz had kills,” Runnells said. “Everybody contributed, and that’s what we should have.”

Aichholz, a senior, had seven kills, and sophomore Megan Gigax had six aces for the Stars.

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