The St. Cecilia volleyball team looked to have suffered a major blow a few weeks ago when one of its statistical and floor leaders, Shandra Farmer, fell on her ankle awkwardly.
Instead, the injury has turned into somewhat of a blessing for the Hawkettes (29-4), who earned the No. 3 seed in the Class C-2 state tournament bracket.
STC begins its quest for a repeat state title Thursday when it battles No. 6 Elmwood-Murdock (25-5) at 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Southwest.
Without Farmer, the Hawkettes dropped back-to-back matches to two good teams in Columbus Scotus and St. Paul.
The junior was able to return in time for the subdistrict tournament — but at her old role as libero — and since then St. Cecilia has won nine consecutive sets to claim its spot at state.
“It’s kind of funny. Sometimes an injury happens and it makes you a better team,” said head coach Alan VanCura. “At the beginning of the season, we wanted to use Shandra as a hitter and a passer. The injury happened and some other kids got some playing time and got a little better. Shandra moved to libero so she doesn’t have to jump on that ankle.”