Stars Victorious in Home Opener on Family Weekend; Defeat Avila, 3-1The Stephens College volleyball defended its home court, winning 25-21, 25-23, 25-27, 25-20
COLUMBIA, Mo. – (Box Score) It took four sets on Friday (Sept. 27) for the Stephens College volleyball team to defeat Avila University in the 2013 home opener and debut of the newly renovated Deb Duren Court. The Stars moved to 3-9 overall with their 25-21, 25-23, 25-27, 25-20 victory over the visiting Eagles.
Down early in the first set, Stephens used a monster stretch by freshman middle hitter Kerri Kircher to build a 17-13 lead. Kircher posted six kills in 10 rallies during the run. The Eagles climbed back into the game and just as easily squashed their chances with four errors in the final five points earned by the Stars.
Stephens scored the first point of the second frame and stayed ahead the entire set. At one point, the Stars enjoyed a nine-point lead, although Avila erased the deficit and brought it within one at 22-21. Freshman Alyssa Beavers led the way for Stephens in set two with four kills, including the final point to clinch the set.
With a chance to sweep the Eagles on the line, the Stars traded points back and forth with Avila in the third set. The Stars had match point on two different occasions, but couldn’t seal the deal in the 25-27 decision.
Stephens bounced back in the fourth set and took the lead for good after a Madison Reale kill at the 14-13 mark. The Stars finished off the Eagles, 25-20.
Each team played tough at the point of attack as Stephens totaled seven team blocks to Avila’s six. The Stars outdug the Eagles 63-52 and also held a 56-37 advantage in kills throughout the match.
Individually, Kircher paced the Stars with a season-high 17 kills and three blocks (1 solo, 2 assisted). Beavers joined Kircher in double digits with 11 kills and a match-best .409 hitting percentage.
Setter Samantha Phegley posted 44 assists, while Yonne Nasimiyu led all players with four service aces. Likewise, Stars’ libero Tanya Avington recorded a match-high 21 digs.
Sporting a perfect 1-0 record at Silverthorne Arena, the Stephens College volleyball team has a tough task ahead as it hosts No. 16 Columbia College on Wednesday (Oct. 2).