By Christine Williamson // Athletic Communications
The game of volleyball is quick. The ball is served and the play is over in the blink of an eye. Kristin Faust’s sophomore season in 2012 showed that the outside hitter could certainly keep up.
Faust started all 31 matches and finished second in double-doubles on the team. She was a tough server with a team-high 30 aces and played on both sides of the ball, tallying 253 kills and a 3.10-digs-per-set average.
But one day during spring practice following her breakout season, the trajectory changed just as quickly as it started.
“I jumped for a hit and I came down on one leg and my knee just snapped,” said Faust. “Right when it happened, I knew something was terribly wrong.”
Faust had torn her ACL. After her injury, she was told that she would not see the court at all for the 2013 season.
“It was devastating, but I told myself I was going to play,” explained Faust. “I had surgery in March and stayed in Clemson all summer so I could do rehab every day.”
While some people take over a year to recover from an ACL injury, Faust was ready to return to the court in less than six months.
Before she knew it, the 2013 season started and she did not miss a beat. The team needed a defender to play the libero position, and Faust was there to step in.
“It worked out perfectly because at the time, I still didn’t trust my knee,” admitted Faust. “I was still very nervous jumping and landing. Playing libero allowed me to get used to the pace of the game again.”
Her role at the libero position was short-lived, though it was impressive. She finished her junior season with a team-high 403 digs.
After 12 matches, the Tigers needed Faust back at the outside-hitter position. Despite starting the season as a defensive player, she finished the year third on the team with 203 kills.
Faust was happy to be back where she belonged.
“It was great being able to contribute on defense and serve-receive, but I was happy to be playing all-the-way around again. That’s where I feel most comfortable.”
This season, the outside hitter is a co-captain along with fellow senior Karis Watson.
“Our team has amazing chemistry this season,” added Faust. “Leading this team is easy because the underclassmen are leaders as well. It’s crazy that I’m already a senior. It seems like it happened so fast.
“I hope that I am able to show the younger players what perseverance is. Sometimes, things happen that you can’t predict and it’s not about everything going perfectly. You just have to get back up as quickly as you can.”
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