Nightingale closing in on 1,000 after injuryWHITE LAKE — After fracturing two vertebrae in her back in the spring, Maria Nightingale worried that she wouldn’t be able to play volleyball this fall.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
WHITE LAKE — After fracturing two vertebrae in her back in the spring, Maria Nightingale worried that she wouldn’t be able to play volleyball this fall.
Nightingale said she fractured the bones in April, but was unaware of the severity of the injury until July.
After missing six matches, Nightingale returned to the White Lake volleyball team and last week recorded 36 kills in two Wolverine victories.
In a straight-sets win over Wolsey-Wessington, she recorded 16 kills for White Lake. On Saturday, Nightingale tallied 20 kills while also managing to get eight digs as her team defeated Lyman 3-1 to improve to 13-6 on the season.
For her efforts, Nightingale has been named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.
Nightingale said she still suffers pain, but is willing to play through it for her team.
“It still hurts pretty bad, but it’s getting better through therapy,” she said. “When I’m in the game, the adrenaline keeps most of the pain away.”
White Lake coach Brooke Hermsen said Nightingale’s ability to get kills gives the entire team a boost.
“It feels like when she gets going, some of her kills can have some aggression behind them and they spark everybody,” Hermsen said.
Hermsen said Nightingale already has the school record for kills in a career and the senior has set a goal to reach the 1,000-kill mark before the season’s end.
“It’s something I’ve been dreaming of for a long time,” Nightingale said. She currently needs 58 kills to hit the elusive mark. “I’m hoping to do it in the next four or five games, but anytime would be great.”
The next opportunity to for Nightingale to add to her impressive kill number comes today as the Wolverines host Mount Vernon/Plankinton.