Center suffered injury in exhibition game versus Alabama-Huntsville.
Nov. 5, 2012
NASHVILLE -- Redshirt junior center Stephanie Holzer will miss the entire 2012-13 women's basketball season after dislocating her knee during Vanderbilt's exhibition game on Saturday, November 3.
"It's a heartbreaking loss for Steph and for us," Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb said. "She was in the best shape physically she's been in and we just feel for her right now."
Holzer earned SEC Sixth Woman of the Year honors as a redshirt freshman in 2010-11 before earning Honorable Mention All-SEC honors last season. She led Vanderbilt in rebounding both seasons, pulling down 6.0 rebounds per game as a redshirt freshman and 7.5 per game last year.
"The whole team is going to have to step-up, but right now, our hearts are going out for Steph," Balcomb added.
The Commodores open the regular season on Saturday, November 10, when they host McNeese State at Noon at Memorial Gym.
With all the trouble she's had with injuries, I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't "retire". But whatever her decision (and she probably won't make that decision anytime soon), I wish her the best. She has exhibited grit and determination, and her contribution per minute played has been as great as anyone on the current squad.
Holzer was going to really be a presence inside this season...almost impossible to replace her experience....Preseason 3rd place might be too lofty a prediction now....Hope for the best, and wishing a full recovery for Stephanie.
#35 is Kendall Shaw, a freshman post player. She might be a tiny bit taller than Steph. I'm not sure, but when the players run onto the court, they line up by height, shortest to tallest, and Kendall was positioned after Stephanie. During a drill at the first practice, at a distance, I mistook #3 Heather Bowe, who is a few inches shorter and also blonde, for Holzer.
No way around it, losing Steph for the season is a major blow, but given that we have some other "bigs", hopefully it won't be as disastrous as it might have been some other years.
She played one season at Vanderbilt and then sat out one season after transferring to the University of Louisville. One full season at Louisville and then Tia missed almost all of last year to injury.
That's four seasons in college. She has already graduated (Economics) and is working on an MBA. Listed as a Junior with two years of eligibility, Tia is still getting over the latest injury (of many) and expects to play again in a couple weeks.
Article covering all of this in the Election Day Courier-Journal, page C3.
Those sixth years aren't common, but they do happen. In Tia's case, I was a little surprised because I didn't think that the NCAA granted that sixth year unless both of the redshirt years were for medical issues. IOW, I thought that if sat out a year following a transfer, you were out of luck if you had to miss a season later because of injury. But apparently I was wrong.
I think Drey Mingo at Purdue (whom we recruited) is in a similar position. After two years at Maryland, she transferred to Purdue, sat out a year, then had a bout with bacterial meningitis during the following season, then missed last season with a torn ACL, and is now in her sixth year of college.
Given those cases, it seems like a slam dunk that Stephanie would be granted a sixth year to complete her eligibility if that's what she and the coaches want to do.
Austin Monahan is another 6th year player. I think he has actually played some in 5 of the 6 years and both redshirt years were the result of injuries (no illnesses involved). If Vandy goes to a bowl he'll be the first Commodore ever to be a part of 3 VU bowl teams. Not sure if he played in the Music City but I think he did play in the Liberty.
Don't give basketball up Stephanie! That what our opponents are hoping you do. Stick with it. Get that Vanderbilt Masters Degree and help your friends and teammates to a future championship season!
More on Monahan. I remember interviewing him in 2010 in the preseason. He had already had an injury plagued career and had one redshirt season under his belt. I asked Monahan what it would be like to go through the season without an injury. He told me that it would be amazing to do that and his face just glowed as he discussed that. I never got to use the interview. The next day he injures his knee and is out for the season. Horrible. I see him about a week later at the Dore Jam fan day on crutches and ask him if he's coming back. He's like "hell yes, I'll be back." It kind of stunned me at the time because he had been injured so recently and I was thinking that he'd say he was going to give it some thought and see how the rehab goes but he was so blunt. He followed through too. Even though this guy doesn't play too much his leadership has been invaluable to the entire team. I don't know if you remember the UGA-VU coaches fiasco last season but big Monahan was the one player on both teams that stepped between the two coaches to ensure that they didn't go to blows.
Enough rambling though. Steph and Austin are two different persons. In the end she needs to do what is best for Stephanie. I wish her the best of luck in making that decision.