Niemeier Suffers Torn ACL

Eagles forced to persevere through pre-conference schedule without a trained setter

Although said to be almost impossible, it seems lightning has in fact struck twice on the Eastern Washington University volleyball team.

Two weeks before the 2012 season began, senior setter Laney Brown (Waterville, Wash.) suffered an injury to her big toe, which required surgery and has a projected 6-12 week recovery. Luckily, Eastern had two-year starter Lindsay Niemeier (Spokane, Wash.) ready to run offense for EWU.

But in the 2012 season-opener on Aug. 24 in Laramie, Wyo., the junior setter went down. According to her physician’s assessment and the results of an MRI performed Monday (Aug. 27), Niemeier has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.

It is possible Brown could return for the start of conference play on Sept. 13 at Sacramento State, but nothing definitive can be said about the status of her recovery.

In the meantime, Eastern will turn to junior Ashley Wright (Leavenworth, Wash.), who assumed setting duties last weekend after Niemeier exited at the UniWyo Wyoming Invitational.

In 3 1/4 matches in Laramie, Wright, who stands at six-feet even, averaged 5.36 assists per set, and 1.36 kills. She contributed 26 digs and 11 total blocks.

Although not technically “home” for their next tournament, the Eagles will be able to sleep in their own beds, as they play three matches just up the road in Spokane, Wash. As part of the Gonzaga Tournament, Eastern will face UC Riverside on Friday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m., followed by two matches on Saturday against South Dakota State and host-Gonzaga.

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