Senior back after injured 2012 season
Michael Bauer | sports editor
As the Pittsburg State volleyball team prepares for the 2013 season, Kirsten Erikson, senior in management and marketing, is getting ready for her senior season.
After a long 2012 season, Erikson averaged 1.18 kills per set with a .217 hitting percentage, an improvement from her sophomore season.
However, an injury limited her to two starts in 2012 and recovery from a surgery in the off-season has been trying.
“It was very difficult,” Erikson said. “I’m not a very patient person and you have to be very patient with injuries.”
The injury, a torn labrum in her left shoulder, hindered Erikson’s abilities to play as her left arm is her hitting arm.
Erikson says she tore it two years ago and decided to play through the fall with it. She received cortisone shots and they helped.
“I can tell the difference from playing with it fixed now and playing with it not fixed last fall,” Erikson said. “It’s still really sore because I’m still recovering. But it’s not as painful from what it was last year.”
Despite her injury, Erikson recorded 13 blocks last year and recorded a season high of seven kills against Central Oklahoma.
Ibraheem Suberu, head coach, says coaching Erikson has been a privilege.
“She’s worked hard,” Suberu said. “She has a great attitude. She’s a teammate who is very dependable, committed.”
In 2010, as a freshman, Erikson played 29 matches with five starts. In 2011, she saw her playing time increase with 26 starts in 30 matches in the outside hitter position. Her sophomore season featured her averaging 1.78 kills per set and hit at a .127 clip. She also doubled her blocks from her freshman season with 40.
“Kirsten’s worked very hard from a down year with a shoulder surgery,” Suberu said. “She’s really rehabbed well and definitely is one of our leaders on and off the court. We definitely anticipate she will be a great contributor to us this year.”
Erikson says her recovery has been a long one and she is anxious to get back to full playing time.
“Overall, it’s taken at least six months to hit a ball again,” she said.
Erikson added that her parents have been her biggest motivators. Her father’s background in business has taught her good motivation skills.
“And my mom always knows how to cheer me up,” she said.
Erikson says she is looking forward to a spectacular senior season. It may be her last year as a Gorilla, as she has yet to choose a grad school, but it will not be her last year to play volleyball.
“I’ll always play intramural volleyball,” she said. “I’m planning on applying for grad school and if there’s a grad assistant spot opening for me I would gladly do it.”
2012 Stats: Averaged 1.18 kills per set. Had a .217 hitting percentage and 13 blocks, all while playing injured.
Averaged 1.78 kills per set and hit at a .127 clip during her sophomore season in 2011.
Earned 108 kills while hitting at a .128 clip in 29 matches during her freshman season. Also had 42 digs and 18 total blocks on the year.
Made First-team Missouri All-state honors during her senior year of high school.