Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, December 1, 2005

Lima fights through season of adversity

December 1, 2005

Advertisement

It's all been taken away from Kansas University volleyball player Josi Lima.

Sure, she's still a four-time Big 12 first-team selection. Her team has made the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year.

But this year has been different. Lima has become a survivor.

Because of injuries, the senior knows she isn't what she once was. And her team isn't what it could be.

"Mentally, I'm 100 percent. Physically, I'm probably 60 percent," Lima said. "It's so hard to play because you have to focus on playing and not focus on being hurt. It's hard to do that.

"I'm getting used to the pain."

Lima has had more than her share this year. It was emotional pain Oct. 6 when she saw teammate and best friend Jana Correa crumple at the net after a spike, screaming out in agony after tearing her ACL for a second time.

Lima cried outside of the locker room after the match. She said that she hurt with her friend.

Then came the anguish of an eight-match losing streak that lasted a full month.

If that wasn't enough, Lima even began to lose herself on the court. A combination of injuries forced the senior to become less of a slammer and more of a trickster when it came to kills.

"She's not 100 percent by any chance, but she'll give a great effort and she'll have good numbers when the match is over," Kansas coach Ray Bechard said. "She doesn't back away from a challenge."

The senior knows she will face the greatest one of her career Friday in an NCAA Tournament match at UCLA.

Lima will have to be the emotional leader of the Jayhawks. She will have to be the calming force, the one that younger players look to in times of trouble.

She will have to overcome the pain that limits her abilities on the court.

And, all the while, she will have to do it in a position she has never played before.

With the injury to Kansas setter and Jayhawk career assists leader Andi Rozum in the squad's final match against Iowa State, Lima will become the team's setter - a skill she hasn't practiced since her days in Brazil.

Never has she been asked to do so much. And never has she had so little.

But all the adversity still hasn't affected Lima's positive outlook on Friday's match against the 14th-ranked Bruins in Los Angeles.

"Everybody has to do everything," Lima said. "We just have to overcome that and play with everything we have. We have nothing to lose."

After having it all taken away, it's a good situation for Lima to be in.

Comments

jdr 9 years ago

This is fantasy. Emily Brown is filling the setting position. The reason Lima will set in one of six rotations is to give Brown the opportunity to pass and hit. I think that would be verified by anyone associated with the team.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.