Brenna Lumley

Then-junior Emelie Orlando jumps for the ball during a fall 2019 game.

On Saturday afternoon, the Missouri State women’s volleyball team concluded their season with a 2-0 record after defeating the University of Central Arkansas with a 3-1 final score. 

This was the Bears’ first and only home matchup of the fall portion of the season. With an attendance of 704, Hammons Student Center was filled more than halfway to its COVID-19 capacity of 1,325. 

The first two sets of the match seemed to be the most competitive, as they ended in the Bears’ favor with final scores of 25-20 and 25-21. The third set was where Central Arkansas gained momentum, having the largest point differential at the time with a final score of 14-25. The fourth set, however, consisted of 12 served aces from Missouri State and the official largest point differential of 16 points, as the Bears took the set and matchup win with a 25-9 score. 

“I'm really proud of the team on that fourth set bounce back," head coach Steven McRoberts said after his first home victory. "We started getting dominant at the net along with our serving, and when you can combine those two things, it's a recipe for a lot of points and a lot of wins."

McRoberts said that just having the opportunity to face different opponents was primary. 

“Winning can breed confidence,” McRoberts said. “A lot of times, it can happen either way. Either you’re playing really well in practice but you’re not that good, or you’re not playing well in practice because the other side knows exactly what you’re trying to do every time and they’re stopping it. So, you want to play somebody that doesn’t know what you’re trying to do to see if it’s working.” 

Sophomore Azyah Green, who finished the match with seven kills and six blocks, said the dynamic between herself and McRoberts is helping the team achieve its goals.

“(McRoberts is) great. I love the coaching staff,” said Green. “They do a really good job of breaking things down for us because after coming from last year, we mentioned when he first got here we were broken, and he’s done a really good job of taking us under his wing and taking his time with us to get us back where we once were.” 

The NCAA has recently announced that the spring 2021 volleyball season will go from Jan. 22 to April 10.