Stephens’ Freda Runnells could barely use her injured left hand.
Meanwhile, everything St. Louis Christian’s Emily Robinson touched went her way.
Robinson, a sophomore middle hitter, led the Soldiers to a 30-22, 30-26, 30-25 win against the Stars on Monday night at Silverthorne Arena in the Stars’ final game of the season. Robinson had 23 kills and kept the Stars off balance all night.
Runnells injured her hand late in the first game, but stayed in the match despite obvious pain.
“I definitely have three dislocated fingers,” Runnells said. “I may or may not have broken my left thumb.”
Runnells continued, with the aid of some tape, and finished with 15 kills and five blocks. Stars senior Sarah Burris played with the flu.
Despite their difficulties, the Stars (2-10) played the Soldiers competitively.
The Stars struggled the most, in Game 1, before Runnells’ injury.
St. Louis Christian kept going to Robinson, who kept scoring. Sophomore Lorrie Weaber, who had 10 assists, teamed with Robinson for several kills.
The Stars would not give up, though.
In the second game, a block by Burris on a Robinson kill attempt energized the Stars and brought them to within 17-15. They kept the momentum tying the game at 23, but the Soldiers answered with a 7-3 run to win.
Runnells said the way members of the team stepped up for each other pleased her.
Sophomore Megan Gigax was among the Stars who elevated her game, making several crucial digs of Robinson hits.
“I think we played a lot better today than we ever have,” Gigax said. “We’re moving our feet more, and we played better as a team than we did in the beginning of the year.
“I think we fought today. With Freda’s injury and Sarah’s sickness, I think we played to our fullest.”
Soldiers coach Mindy Beard praised Robinson’s talent and dedication.
“Emily is one of the most humble players I’ve ever coached,” Beard said. “She’s Division I material.”