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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Baum out for season

    Kristina Baum
    Kristina Baum

    With a look of pure devastation on her face, Kristina Baum was standing on one of the empty volleyball courts in McKale Center immediately after she received the news about the fate of her season.

    Baum, a senior captain and Arizona’s starting middle blocker, will be lost for the remainder of the season after a MRI revealed a torn ACL and meniscus muscle in her right knee Monday afternoon.

    “”It is pretty devastating,”” Baum said. “”My season ended three months earlier than I was expecting, and you really can’t plan for something like this.””

    Baum’s teammates, who embraced and comforted her after hearing of the news, were devastated as well.

    “”I am really sad for her,”” said junior middle blocker Dominique Lamb. “”We are happy she is going to be out there and still be a kind of like a coach.””

    The Whittier, Calif., native suffered the injury Friday morning in the first game of the tournament against Bradley and missed the remainder of the matches.

    “”I feel terrible for her, and I feel terrible for the team,”” said UA head coach Dave Rubio. “”You never want to see this kind of thing happen to one of your players.””

    But Baum isn’t quite ready to give up on playing just yet.

    Because she hasn’t used her redshirt, there is still a possibility she will get to use it this year, but both Baum and Rubio were unsure of how that will turn out.

    “”The rule states that you must play less than 20 percent of the season,”” Rubio said. “”Twenty percent of our games is six, and she played seven. If you go directly by what the rule states, then she might be out of luck, but we are going to appeal it.””

    Baum isn’t just any player. She is a senior captain, and Rubio said that the team loses countless things with her not being out on the court.

    And it showed in the games she missed.

    It’s likely that the team’s lackluster performance, which Rubio called “”awful,”” was related to the missing link at middle blocker.

    “”We are really going to miss what she brings to the team,”” Lamb said. “”She is a senior. She brings communication and experience to our team, and those things are really valuable.””

    Baum was a four-year starter and played multiple positions, and Rubio said that her experience is a much-needed asset for the team.

    “”Kristina has such a calming influence on the team, and she is such a stabilizer,”” he said. “”You feel (comfortable) more with people like Kristina on the court because of all the things she has gone through in the past four years. When things get rough, she can calm the other players down and give them the confidence they need, and not having that is going to be difficult.””

    That is a quality that the Wildcats sure could use, especially with their recent problem of hot and cold streaks.

    Rubio said Baum is still very much a part of the team, but she is just going to have to be a leader from the sideline.

    “”Even though she is injured, she is still a captain on this team,”” Rubio said. “”She will be in practice helping out, and she will be at the games for support.””

    Baum also said that she is going to do whatever she can to be there for the team.

    “”I am going to be in practice until my surgery (today),”” she said. “”I will be there to help the team in any way that I can.””

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