The Seaholm girl’s varsity tennis program will have a difficult obstacle to overcome this season. Nancy Benda, a junior tennis superstar, developed a stress fracture in her right navicular bone.
The navicular bone is a small bone in the top of the right foot and is a very difficult bone to break as well as to heal.
Benda will be in a cast until April 26 and then a walking boot for an undetermined time after that.
Benda has also been experiencing problems in her left Achilles on and off for the past year and a half. The current stress fracture was possibly caused by overcompensation due to the pain in her opposite Achilles, according to Benda.
“I’m teaching myself how to walk on my foot again,” Benda said. “Applying five percent more pressure on my foot each day.”
As for the team’s race for the state title? It will be a challenge. Benda plays in the No. 1 singles position on the varsity team. Finishing in the semi finals of the State championship last June, Benda had her eyes set on winning.
“This year was going to be the golden year for me, “Benda said. “It’s really hard to be sidelined when I’d rather be out there playing.”
The team, which placed second overall at last year’s state championship, is currently ranked second behind Marian High School.
Seaholm’s varsity tennis lineup includes senior Meghan Dooley (No.2 Doubles), senior Katie Root (No.4 Singles) and senior captain Annie Grier (No.1 Doubles). Despite the injury of a key player senior captain Annie Grier is determined to push her team towards achieving their goal.
“I believe that the team is capable of stepping up to the challenge,” Grier said. “With hard work it is still possible for us to win states.”
There is a good chance that Benda will be able to play near the end of her junior season playing for the Maples.
“It’s promising that I will be able to finish the season” Benda said.
Head varsity tennis coach Scott Ransom has high hopes for this year’s team regardless of Benda’s injury.
“We will play the best tennis we can play this season,” Ransom said.
The team will have to move the No. 2 singles player sophomore Labina Petrovkska into Benda’s No.1 spot.
“Nancy is inspiring, she is on crutches and still wants to be out there playing,” Ransom said. “Leadership is on and off the court and Nancy is a leader regardless.”
“The situation isn’t ideal but I have faith that my team can pull together and win the state final,” Benda said.