Dedication Over Injuries

Varsity Volleyball Learn


It was Rider High School against Canyon High School. Defensive Specialist, senior Caitlin Renz hustled for a shanked volleyball. After she popped it back up, her feet kept going, and next thing she knew she was on the ground. As sophomore Kelli Barnett tried to help her up. Coach Brown escorted her to the trainers’ room about five minutes later to check on her injury. By the end of the game, the Lady Raider varsity team lost. And Caitlin was advised by the trainers to be examined by doctors for her injury as soon as possible where they confirmed her injury to be a concussion. Besides that fact, Caitlin believed her injury was worth hustling for.

    “Even though we didn’t win, every point matters,” Renz said.

    In the moment, nothing but pain in her upper right eyebrow ran through her head.The thought of being out for the whole season didn’t cross her mind until later, but it worried her nonetheless.

“My first thoughts were ‘Wow what a great pass. Why couldn’t we get that?’ Then ‘oh no is she okay?’” head coach Alysha Humpert said.

Although Caitlin is the only senior on the team, Humpert said her absence of leadership didn’t bring the team down, it only helped them learn how to rely on each team member as a whole.

While the girls were learned to cope with dependance upon each other, Caitlin practiced getting back to her healthy state so she could play volleyball.

Because of a new state law, athletes with concussions have to get approved by physicians before they can resume playing their sport. Athletes go through a five-day concussion process where they have to ride a bike for 20 minutes in the trainers’ room, the next day a 1-mile run must be completed, then agility workouts, and finally some light volleyball practice. Luckily, after a second attempt to pass the five-day concussion process, the doctors approved Caitlin’s process, and she was able to be back with the team about three and a half weeks later. Along with being able to play with the team, she is now able to resume playing in her orchestra class and continue her school work.

Caitlin’s concussion was not her first sports injury. Last year, she encountered a similar incident while once again hustling for a volleyball. Renz dove to pass a ball, hit her hand on the ground, and fractured her wrist. She was still able to practice but rarely got any playing time in actual volleyball games.

    This year, Renz is the only senior on the team. She doesn’t think it is much different being the only one although there is more of a leadership role to uphold with the team.

Junior Kiley Beaver and Caitlin hold the leadership positions of being team captains. Since most of the girls have played together for a while, they already have a close bond that helps their performance during games. Currently the teams standing for play-offs depends on whether they win their last district game against Brewer High School . If they win this game, their spot in play-offs will be secured.

All of the girls selfless and humble attitudes contribute to their dedication and determination to succeed.

    “This year is about having a purpose and knowing that purpose,” Renz said.