Vista's Sipiora is back on the court after knee injury

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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Caroline Sipiora is back for Vista del Lago’s volleyball team. Well, sort of. The senior outside hitter, who has a scholarship to play at the University of Utah next fall, was cleared by her doctor to return to the court and practice and play at 100 percent capacity on Monday, having recovered from tearing her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in her left knee, as well as a compression fracture to her femur, which she suffered Feb. 1. Though cleared to play, Sipiora admitted that she’s not back up to full speed. “My knee feels awesome and is 100 percent, but I know I won’t have a full recovery during the high school season,” Sipiora said. “I’ll need another month or two to get to the Pac-12, Division I level that I was at. I know it will take a little longer to get back to that level, but I’m excited to play this year. Very excited.” Though she was cleared to play, Sipiora didn’t get on the court during Vista’s three-game sweep of Union Mine on Tuesday. “I knew (Coach Patrick) Sanders was kind of weary of putting me in because I hadn’t had any game experience this year,” Sipiora said. “I feel great. I’ve gotten up to speed pretty well. I expected to maybe get in there and serve a ball or two, but I understand he wants to wait a little longer and ease into it more and that’s fine with me. I’m definitely expecting to play this year and I’m excited.” Sanders, while glad to have Sipiora back, isn’t going to rush things. “It’s a matter of integrating her back into the team and seeing how she fits in dynamically,” Sanders said. “She’s getting full reps in practice and she’s looking better and better each day. She’s been really great about taking care of her physical therapy and getting back into shape. Having confidence is a big deal along with testing that knee out and seeing how it responds in a certain situation. Going forward, I think that we’re encouraged by what we see.” Sipiora, who plays libero on her club team, is willing to play the same position for Vista, and would be willing to set too, as her doctor, physical therapist and future coaches at Utah don’t want her to play her outside hitter position she normally plays with the Eagles. It remains to be seen when and where she will see court time, but her return is sure to be a big boost to the team. Sipiora could see court time on Saturday, as the Eagles plays host to the NorCal Classic, a 12-team tournament featuring the Eagles, Rocklin, Oak Ridge, Granite Bay, Nevada Union and Christian Brothers, as well as six other teams from the Bay Area. Nick Pecoraro contributed to this story.