Volleyball looking to leadership in wake of injuries

Jacob Justice, Sports Reporter

The University of North Florida (UNF) Volleyball team was persistent this weekend as they split a pair of matches despite missing significant contributors from their roster.

These games were played at Jacksonville University’s Swisher Gymnasium, as UNF has continued to play there while renovations to UNF Arena are wrapping up.

Although the Ospreys had lost Friday’s game against Central Arkansas, head coach Kristen Wright credited her young players for stepping up and playing a competitive game amidst adversity.

Volleyball player prepares to spike ball over the net
Middle blocker Maddie Boyd brings three years of experience to the table, providing leadership on a young team fighting through injuries. (David Heitz)

“A positive takeaway is that we had five freshmen on the court,” Wright said. “We had five starters on the bench and it wasn’t just like we rolled over, we stepped up.”

With the absence of these starters, the Ospreys have looked to team leadership to push this squad forward.

Such leadership has been present with libero Rocio Moro, who stepped up during this absence of players with 25 digs against Central Arkansas.

When describing Moro as a team leader, Coach Wright credits her approachability among her teammates. 

“Everyone was looking to her,” Wright said. “You might not see it on the stats but she was pulling people in, making eye contact, and that’s not easy to do when you have to serve as well as control the entire backcourt.”

Volleyball player with head coach looking on from behind
UNF head coach Kristen Wright has built her program around leadership and unity, something that comes in handy during times like these. (David Heitz)

Despite the loss on Friday, through team leadership from players such as Moro, this young Osprey unit was able to bounce back with a 3-2 win against North Alabama on Sunday.

The Ospreys will look to further persevere as games against Queens and Liberty this weekend will prove to be a tough challenge for this young team to face.


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