The Nebraska volleyball team, which already was tasked with replacing four starters off last year’s team, looks like it will be losing the services of another battle-tested veteran.
Coach John Cook told The World-Herald Wednesday it appears senior middle blocker Hayley Thramer will miss the 2013 season with a right-knee injury suffered in the team’s exhibition match against Wichita State last Saturday.
Thramer, a fifth-year senior from Ewing, Neb., who is set to graduate in August, already sat out the 2010 season with a shoulder injury and redshirted her first year in 2009. This latest setback could mean her Husker career may be over if she does not seek a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA.
Cook said the injury did not appear serious at first, but during an MRI earlier this week, doctors discovered Thramer had torn the ACL in her right leg. The coach said he was informed of the finding Tuesday night.
“I felt like my gut was ripped out,” Cook said.
Thramer had been a regular starter the last two seasons and was second in the Big Ten with 1.32 blocks per set during conference play in 2012. Cook said she is scheduled to have surgery to repair the injury on May 6.
Her injury brings uncertainty to what would have been the Huskers’ most experienced position heading into the fall. Sophomore Meghan Haggerty, a member of the 2012 All-Big Ten freshman team, returns at one spot. Redshirt sophomore Cecilia Hall, the only other middle currently on the roster, has played in just six career matches.
Two incoming freshmen middles are set to join the team for the fall season, Kira Larson of Fargo, N.D., and Melanie Kiel of Berlin, Germany. Both will likely now be given the chance to compete for playing time right away this fall.
“It changes everything for those guys,” Cook said. “We’ll be training them all and see who wants to play.”