Win Woodson quickly folded into tears when the final point of St. James’ volleyball season ended.
She soon was peeling off the huge brace on her right knee, a remnant of her latest major injury, after Jacksonville’s win over the Trojans in the Class 4A semifinals Wednesday.
Woodson, a junior, has played each of the last two years after rehabbing from a major knee injury. Last year, it was her left knee. This year, her right.
“I think it makes you want it more,” Woodson said. “There’s a really long recovery and you have to sit and watch your teammates play.
“Then, we got back here and we came so close.”
And Woodson feared she had suffered another knee injury in the first game of Jacksonville’s 26-24, 25-16, 22-25, 28-26 win. She returned and finished with two kills and nine digs.
“I was praying, ‘Please don’t let it be an ACL and let’s win,'” Woodson said. “I didn’t want to go through it again.”
Woodson blew out her left knee two years ago in volleyball and her right knee last year in basketball. She admits she’s considered giving up volleyball for her senior season.
“But I’ll play,” she said. “I don’t think I couldn’t play.”
Woodson had six kills in a 20-25, 25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 16-14 quarterfinal win Wednesday morning over Madison County. It put the Trojans (31-11) in the state semifinals for the first time since 2004.
“She’s just in love with the game,” St. James coach Kellye Bowen said. “If she was 5-11, she’d be unbelievable. She’s still unbelievable at 5-3, but it helps to have a little height.”
Regan Riddle and Cassie Sadie totaled 11 kills each vs. Jacksonville, while Amanda Cherry had 14 kills and Lacie Vette 10 against Madison County.
Laura Catherine Clark had 82 assists in the two matches.