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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Baum ahead of schedule in rehab, cleared for action”

    Instead of writing about her play last season in her arizonaathletics.com blog, volleyball team captain Kristina Baum had to write about her experiences on the sidelines. After tearing her right ACL and meniscus Sept. 8 against Bradley, the senior awaited her chance to get back on the court.

    That chance came last week.

    On April 2, Baum was cleared to play for the first time since her injury in Arizona’s spring tournament Saturday against NAU and New Mexico State. Supposed to be out for nine months, Baum came back in seven. Without her, the team missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 years under UA head coach David Rubio.

    “”I think the biggest difference just this spring is having Kristina back,”” said middle blocker Dominique Lamb. “”She has a huge impact on the team.””

    Baum, who received a medical redshirt for her senior year, will return for one more season.

    “”Right now my movement’s really limited,”” Baum said. “”It’s still hard to jump and do all those things, but this (Saturday) was a start.””

    Baum has been rehabbing her knee to be ready for the beginning of next season.

    Helping Baum and outside hitter Whitney Dosty will be Rubio’s 2007 recruiting class of setter Paige Weber, left-side hitter Tiffany Owens and middle blocker Stephanie Snow.

    “”I think Tiffany is one of the best incoming freshmen in the country,”” Rubio said. “”Her mental skills are already at a very high sophisticated level, she really has everything that you need to come in and be an impact freshman.””

    Weber has already won the 2006 Andi Collins Award, recognizing the nation’s best high school setter.

    “”Right now it’s (setter) Amy’s (Dyck) job to lose,”” Rubio said, “”but Paige has the ability to come in and contribute right away.””

    The team also is excited to see the incoming freshmen come in.

    But “”they’re gonna have to fight for a spot because the girls here aren’t ready to give up their spots so easily,”” Baum said.

    All three recruits signed in November, and have been seen at the volleyball team’s spring tournaments in McKale Center.

    “”We’ve showed them a good time when they’ve been out here,”” Lamb said, “”but we can’t wait to start playing with them.””

    All three recruits are finishing out their seasons with their respective volleyball clubs.

    With Baum and the recruits, Rubio said he feels the team will have more depth than last season.

    “”Kristina was the one player we really couldn’t afford to lose last year, but we did,”” Rubio said. “”But with her back we’ll have that leadership for one more year, and the team will be a year older, which hopefully will demonstrate some more consistency than we did last year.””

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