RON HARTMAN/ CHRONICLE PHOTO
Freshman Kimberlee Kelsey of Creswell saves a shot last Thursday against Kennedy.
CRESWELL — Injuries. They happen. Every team deals with them. They’re part of the game.
The players on the Creswell volleyball team have surely heard it all before. But that didn’t make it any easier on Saturday, March 27 against Santiam Christian when senior star Breanna Dapron suffered a serious knee injury.
“The doctor said he thinks it’s a (torn) ACL,” Creswell coach Anna Baltrusch said after Thursday’s 25-12, 25-18, 25-20 loss to Kennedy, the defending Class 2A state champs.
Dapron didn’t do anything all that much out of the ordinary — she went up to hit one of her classic jackhammer spikes — and just landed awkwardly. Her left knee buckled and she collapsed in sheer agony.
“It was by far the worst pain I’ve ever felt,” the 5-foot-10 hitter said. “But I’m hoping for the best. It feels a lot better now.”
Her coach wasn’t quite so optimistic.
“It was such a horrible experience,” Baltrusch said. “Brea was screaming, all the girls were crying. … This is the fourth or fifth time I’ve gone through something like this, including once with my stepdaughter from a few years ago.”
Dapron would like to get back for basketball season, which is still about six weeks from tipping off. As the team’s leading scorer and rebounder last season, Dapron was being counted on to be a team leader again.
“At least she’s walking on it and she feels better, so that’s good,” Baltrusch said.
Dapron’s absence opened the door for several other girls to put up big numbers against Kennedy. Emme Whitson led the charge with 6 kills and 14 digs while her sister Kendyl racked up 11 service winners and 4 kills. Libero Sarah Lanz also had 14 digs and Lizabelle Osborne chipped in with 4 kills.
Baltrusch said the injury to Dapron was the icing on the cake to a Covid-shortened season that has thrown more curveballs at her roster than a big-league pitcher. In Thursday’s match, it was almost an all-freshman Creswell lineup against a senior-laden lineup for Kennedy.
Still, it’s difficult to believe that Creswell’s volleyball team is on a four-game losing streak.
Hasn’t it been a few presidential administrations since that has happened?
“I’d say the last time was probably 2005,” Baltrusch said. “In 2003, I took the year off and got divorced. In ’04 we only beat LaPine, then in ’05 we won half of our games.
“In ’06 we made the state playoffs and we’ve pretty much been rocking and rolling ever since.”
The regular season concludes Saturday with a tri-match against LaPine (1 p.m.) and North Bend (4:45 p.m.). LaPine and North Bend will face off in-between the other two matches.
Then on Monday, the Bulldogs face Harrisburg in a neutral-site game at Pleasant Hill to determine the No. 2 seed behind Santium Christian.