A local volleyball player is hoping to be the spark that the University of Manitoba Bisons needs to capture a national championship. The women's volleyball team finished fourth at nationals last year, however, they were missing one of their veterans during their biggest games.
Simone Crevier is entering her fifth year with the squad, but she has battled more adversity in this past twelve months than she could've imagined.
"I didn't play last year because I had two season-ending injuries," Crevier continues. "I tore my labrum in my right shoulder. I had to get surgery for that. A week before the surgery, I was at the gym, and I dislocated my left shoulder and tore that one, as well. So, I had to get a second surgery."
The Portager says it was hard to watch her teammates have so much success while she was sidelined, but Crevier is glad she stuck with them.
"It's definitely been a grind. It's not easy to watch everyone do what you're not able to do all the time, but I'm glad I went to all the practices and stayed with the team for the whole season. I feel like I didn't miss out on anything," Crevier explains. "It was a very challenging year, but it was worth it. I'm just getting back to playing now. It's still a process to get back all my strength and everything."
The Bisons have been practicing for three weeks already, and Crevier says, in that time, she's been easing her way into things.
"The first thing I was allowed to do was pass and set the ball. Next up, we were working on hitting. So, I'd be with my athletic therapist hitting against the wall and strengthening my over-head. Sometimes, there would be a day I would hit at practice, but I'd only be allowed to hit 20 balls or have to hit at 50 per cent effort. Now, I have pretty much no restrictions unless I feel like my shoulder is tired or in pain."
While she says her shoulders aren't at 100 per cent yet, she was officially cleared to play at full capacity over the weekend. Crevier says this came at the perfect time, as the Bisons' first taste of action is at the end of the month.
"The plan right now is to play (In the preseason tournament on September 28). I didn't think I would even get on the court for preseason with the timeline for recovery. We're ahead of schedule, and that's super exciting. So, my goal is to play."
Crevier is thrilled to finally get back on the court. Now, her goal is to earn back her starting role with the group.
"I really want to get back in the starting lineup this year. I know it's going to be a process because I had a few obstacles to overcome, and I'm still rehabbing my shoulders. That's definitely my goal moving forward. I think that's everyone's goal on the team. We all want to be on the court."
The former Portage Collegiate Saint says there's no group of girls with whom she'd rather compete for a national title.
"I'm really excited to do it with these girls. I think we really have a shot at winning this year and going from fourth to first at nationals."
Crevier and the Bisons will take on the Brandon University Bobcats in an exhibition matchup on September 28. Their season officially begins on October 27.