Pie vows comeback despite 2nd knee injury-A A +A
Sunday, February 3, 2013
A YOUNG but resilient girl spiker from Davao City vowed to keep on playing volleyball, and not even a second knee injury can stop her from competing in the sport close to her heart.
"Volleyball is not just my dream, it is my passion," says Elyanna Nenita "Pie" Dayanghirang, first libero of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) girls squad that participated in the recent UAAP 75th Season.
The 16-year-old Dayanghirang is set to undergo an operation on her right knee at the UST Hospital in Manila on February 7. She sprained her ACL during the UAAP where she had an excellent performance throughout the tournament.
This is the second time Dayanghirang had suffered a knee injury. Back in 2011, she tore her ACL and had to undergo surgery to repair her left knee. But, unlike in the previous surgery, Dayanghirang's knee operation this time is not considered a major one.
According to Pie's father Eliezer G. Dayanghirang, her attending physician, Dr. Alberto Molano, an ortho-surgeon at the UST Hospital, said the procedure will be two to four hours. The recovery period is eight to 12 weeks only, to include therapy and strengthening sessions.
With the recovery period, Dayanhirang's parents, her doctor and coaches are hopeful she will be able to play for UST in time for the UAAP 76th Season this coming school year 2013-2014.
But, while expressing confidence they will be able to see their daughter in the court again for another competition, Dayanghirang's parents – Eliezer and Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang -- were initially devastated upon hearing the news of the second injury.
"When I got hold of the news that Pie suffered another injury and this time in her right knee, I cannot believe at first that Pie has to suffer this kind of unforunate knee injury again. I was shocked and distressed. I pity Pie for such a suffering," Dayanghirang's father Eliezer said.
The young Dayanghirang herself was fearful her second injury may affect her form if not prevent her from further playing volleyball.
"At first, I really was scared when I knew that my right knee will be operated soon knowing it was in the middle of the season. I was thinking a lot of things that night on how could I play to the extent of my capabilities if I'm injured?" Dayanghirang said.
"It was really a struggle for me to play inside the court with an injury. However, I am very fortunate for having my coaches, Coach Emilio Reyes and Coach Robert Boto who consistently motivate me, my parents who are very supportive of my career, my teammates who have always been there since the start, my teachers and the administrators of our school who are very proud of the team. My own school, and of course, the one up above, The Lord Almighty, who has always been there and never left me during our games and even during training practices," she added.
Dayanghirang said the second injury is just another challenge for her.
"It's really hard going back to zero again, doing some therapy and strengthening and to go back to my shape. But however, I know that with the help of the people around me, I can always go back to where I have started. This is just another highlight of my career and this operation is not yet the end," said Dayanghirang, who was a star of the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) elementary volleyball team before she played for UST.
"Injuries are just one of the evidences of hardwork and determination. And after my operation, I swear, I will be coming back to play on my last year for the school that I love, University of Santo Tomas. I have always listened to my parents' advice, ‘Never give up on your dream.’ And they never failed me," she added.
When Dayanghirang suffered her first injury and sidelined her for months, she concentrated on her studies and school activities. She was awarded as Ms. UST in the high school intramurals, became a top four finalist of the second year in the elocution contest and emerged second runner-up in the Ms Ideal Young Tomasian Personality, a beauty and talent contest.
Dayanghirang has her sights on volleyball all the time, though.
"My greatest goal as a volleyball player is just simple. It is to inspire other athletes who also aim to reach their goals that despite of having series of injuries, you can still play to the best of your capabilities," Dayanghirang said.
"And that you just have to have faith in yourself, self-discipline and when you have already reached your goal, just keep your feet on the ground and never forget to look back to where you came from. And finally, always pray to God, it works every time," she added.
With her determination, there's no doubt Dayanghirang will return to the playing court soon and display the kind of form that made her volleyball champion.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 04, 2013.