knee is OK

The senior says she was
never worried about missing time

The glass is always half full to optimist Kim Willoughby.

Others feared the worst when the Hawaii volleyball player went down last weekend after tweaking a knee in practice. The senior said she was never worried.

"I was never scared about it for two reasons," said Willoughby, who returned to practice yesterday morning wearing a brace on her right leg. "One, I've never been hurt to the point where I had to sit out for a long time. I've had problems before where I was supposed to sit out for six weeks and I was back a week later. My body heals really fast and whatever it was, I knew I could handle it.

"Two, I never look at the worst possible scenario. That's my thing. No matter how bad it is, you always look for the positive side of everything."

The two-time All-American said the only problem when returning to the court yesterday morning was adjusting to the brace. She's never worn one before and "I was a little hesitant," she said. "Dave (Wahine coach Shoji) tried to kick me out of the gym, but I told him 'no way.' I was fine. If I was hesitating, it was because I was getting comfortable with the brace.

"If it hurts, I'll sit out. If it doesn't, I won't."

Willoughby's biggest concern was getting enough tape over the straps so that it didn't leave marks on the court.

"Our (practice) time is so limited," said Willoughby, noting that the season opener is nine days from today. "I have to be out here."

Willoughby has missed only three matches out of 104 during her three-year career. She sprained her left ankle her freshman season and missed two matches; last year, she sat out one match with the stomach flu.


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