Volleyball team loses starter to knee injury

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Adam Babcock

By Lucas Deal

Illinois sophomore defensive specialist Kristine Anderson will miss the remainder of the 2006 season after an MRI performed last week revealed a tear to her ACL in her right knee.

Anderson injured her knee while preparing for the GlaxoSmithKline Invitational at Huff Hall on Sept. 6 and has been inactive ever since.

“She injured the knee going after a ball in practice, so we had her take an MRI,” Illini head coach Don Hardin said last Tuesday. “We weren’t sure exactly what happened, but from what we knew we suspected an ACL tear.”

Hardin’s fears became a reality days later when the team received Anderson’s test results, which showed the tear.

Anderson will have surgery in October to repair the injury and will begin rehabilitation later in the year.

The injury has forced the Illini to make several changes to their starting lineup and the Illini are 3-1 since.

The Illini have been off since defeating Dayton 3-1 last Tuesday, Sept. 12, and they will host Wisconsin in their Big Ten opener on Friday at Huff Hall.

A native of Clinton, IL. and a transfer from Parkland Community College, Anderson has appeared in seven matches this season and is eligible to apply for a medical redshirt. Hardin said he hopes Anderson is able to redshirt, but is not yet sure how the NCAA will rule on the situation.

“The alumni match counts (as a match), which gives us 31 total matches. She’s allowed to play in only seven of them, which she did,” Hardin said. “If she wants to use this year again she would be potentially eligible for the medical redshirt. It will be up to her on whether she wants to apply.”

In 2004, Illinois senior Erin Virtue was not granted a fifth year of eligibility after a similar injury ended her season in non-conference play. Hardin hopes the Illini will not experience the same fate with Anderson.