DALESVILLE, Ind. — Lindsay Ingenito has rolled her ankles plenty of times playing volleyball. Probably about eight times apiece, she estimates. But this time, Ingenito knew right away something was different.

Ingenito and Daleville were leading Homestead 10-3 in the first set at the Greenfield-Central Cougar Challenge. The star middle hitter passed from left back, setting herself up for a slide on the right side, but the ensuing set was outside. She drifted a little too far on the hit and her right foot came down hard on the metal pole. Ingenito heard it pop.

As she stayed on the floor after the injury, what her mom, Heather, originally figured was another sprain turned into a bigger concern.

“(I knew) when she started crying,” Heather said. “She never cries. I think I knew at that point, because she normally tapes it up, puts her braces on and gets back on the court.”

Ingenito wasn’t able to return to the court in that match on Sept. 23 and hasn’t played since. She went to a surgeon that confirmed the growth plate is fractured in her fifth metatarsal and put her in a walking boot. The doctor didn’t rule her out for the season, but with sectional coming up, Ingenito would have to overcome her discomfort in a very short time. Surgery isn’t out of the question if the pain continues.

That leaves the senior in a tough spot. She could tough out the pain and try to lead Daleville to a repeat sectional title, or she can call it quits on an impressive high school career and focus on getting healthy for the next four years at Huntington University.

“If I can’t come back this season, that’s the only thing keeping me together is knowing I can play at the next level,” Ingenito said. “Because it would really stink if I just couldn’t continue at all. So should I come back and risk it and maybe further injure myself? Or should I just wait it out?

“It’s frustrating, it really is.”

Ingenito, who has started since she was a freshman, was having a special season. She has 298 kills and leads the state in hitting percentage at .587.

It’s been hard to lose some of her final high school season, sure, but Ingenito has remained pretty upbeat through the injury. The biggest thing she misses about playing is getting her teammates pumped with her big swing.

“She’s taking it better than I have,” Heather joked. “I think she’s kind of looking toward the future and offseason, then going to college and playing. But I know she’s definitely had some low points, primarily because these are her seven best friends.”

For now, Ingenito has two jobs: getting healthy and serving as another coach on the Broncos’ staff. Both of those jobs were evident in the Delaware County Tournament:

— Before Daleville’s tourney opener against Cowan, Ingenito was sitting in a chair on the bench, foot wrapped, working on her passing with a teammate.

— During the match, Ingenito was cheering for her teammates and was very vocal during timeouts.

She knows the fundamentals of the game from Munciana and said she enjoys coaching.

The Delaware County tournament is always intense with so many good teams. But many opposing players, coaches and fans approached Ingenito with well wishes before and after the match. Wapahani coach Jared Richardson and the Raiders gave her a “sunshine basket” with yellow candy and treats, because “we don’t like to see that happen to anybody.”

“So many people have texted me and called me,” Ingenito said. “I didn’t really expect it at all, because with our success, I kind of expected people to be like, ‘She’s out, let’s go!’ Because it’s an advantage. No, everybody has been so supportive and I’m so blessed to have that.”

Daleville lost 3-1 to Cowan in county. It’s clear that the Broncos are a different team without their leader on the floor. It will be tough to win a sectional without her in a field that includes Cowan and Wes-Del.

But her health is the most important thing. And the Broncos aren’t going to risk future problems just to increase their chances.

“She’s got four more years of volleyball to play,” coach Beth Etchison said. “So we’re going to make sure that foot is 100 percent ready to go if she’s ready to go before the tournament.”

Ingenito has been going to practice, but has been pretty limited in what she’s doing. Whether or not she returns depends on her comfort level of running and jumping by Oct. 12.

“Every fiber of my being would love to be on the court with these girls,” Ingenito said. “But it’s all up in the air right now.”


Source: The (Muncie) Star Press


Information from: The Star Press, http://www.thestarpress.com

This is an Indiana Exchange story shared by The (Muncie) Star Press.

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JAKE FOX
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