Marshall’s softball team was playing Lufkin last year when a Lady Panther collided with Lady Mavs’ Chloe Buchanan, ending the catcher’s season.
“There was a girl who was sliding into me at home,” Buchanan recalls. “My leg didn’t move but my knee did. It was a slight tear in the MCL and meniscus.”
“That scared me a little bit,” Kayla Green, Marshall assistant softball coach and head volleyball coach said.
Buchanan is back with the Lady Mavs – on the volleyball court, for her senior year.
“I’m feeling great,” she said. “I was worried that it would affect me a little bit, like it would slow me down or I wouldn’t be able to dive to the side but it hasn’t done that because I have so much adrenaline during the game.”
“I’m very glad and very surprised,” Green added. “She’s come back even better than she was. She’s quicker than she was, which is also a surprise. I was nervous when that happened. I’m really glad to have her.”
Now that volleyball season is her and she’s healthy, Buchanan can’t wait to get things started.
“I’m so excited,” she said. “I’ve been waiting on this since softball season. I was ready.”
“We have a young team,” Buchanan said. “We just need to improve every single game. We need to make each other want to be on the floor, have accountability and want to be loud. We’ve got to have energy and we don’t give up on any ball. Once we start trusting each other, we’ll start winning together and it will be great.”
“I expect myself to just step up when needed, every time and never give down,” she added when asked what she expected of herself this season. “I need to show them that you can’t give up on anything and that anything is possible out there.”
“Chloe is a huge part of our team,” Green said. “She almost passed a perfect game last year, which is pretty incredible. She only missed two serves out of 254 attempts. That’s awesome. She’s probably our most consistent passer. She’s all over the court on defense. She’s going to be a huge part of our success. She’s very vocal. (She has) great work ethic. (She’s) always the first on one court and always wanting to get extra reps. She’s good. She’s going to be hard to replace next year.”
Until then, Buchanan has one more year for the Lady Mavs and they’re slated to take part in their first tournament of the year today in Palestine where the Lady Mavs are slated to play Cumberland Academy at 2 p.m. before taking on Troup at 4 p.m. and Athens at 6 p.m.
“We’re still trying to figure out our chemistry,” Green continued. “We’ve got a lot of young players. We’ve got two freshmen on varsity. We’ve got some newcomers coming up from the JV, so they’re still getting used to the speed of the game. Hopefully this tournament will help make them more comfortable.”