Kendall Bergsten, of Glendale, has been selected as the PCH Sports Medicine Comeback Student Athlete of the week. Kendall is also eligible for the PCH Sports Medicine Comeback Student Athlete of the Year and Fan Fave Comeback Student Athlete of the Year awards, which will be handed out at an April, 2010 banquet. The awards honor outstanding young athletes who have returned to athletic competition after receiving treatment for an injury, illness, or physical limitation.
Winners of the two end-of-year awards - the PCH Sports Medicine Comeback Student Athlete of the Year and the Fan Fave Comeback Student Athlete of the Year - will receive $2,500 and $2,000, respectively, in scholarship money. The winners' athletics program will also be given a cash prize of $1,000.
Kendall, 17, is a senior at Mountain Ridge High School and to this dedicated athlete, volleyball is life.
“Volleyball keeps me in shape and allows me to stay healthy - and it lets me be social too,” Kendall said.
Not only is she a star player on her high school's team, but she also is very active in volleyball clubs and camps. Because of all the time she's dedicated to improving her skills on the court, she's developed into a strong player and a powerful hitter. However, years of wear and tear on her shoulder caused extreme pain and discomfort in March 2008. As a result of hard hits season after season, Kendall found out she had a tear in her labrum - an injury to her right shoulder joint. The injury was serious and would keep Kendall off the court her entire junior year.
When Kendall got word from her doctors that she had to take time off from volleyball to make a full recovery, she was extremely disappointed, but soon became more determined than ever to get back to the sport she loved.
Kendall said, “I was heartbroken. Not being able to get out on the court with my teammates was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do - next to getting surgery.”
Kendall not only had surgery to repair her injury, she spent six weeks in a brace and endured six months of intense physical therapy.
Kendall's volleyball club team invited her to come to practices during her recovery and as she was able to do more, she would. Kendall even decided to learn how to use her left arm for serving and hitting while her right shoulder recovered. She started playing again during the summer months as much as possible so she could try out for varsity volleyball in August. She became a member of the varsity team at the beginning of the school year and has had a successful season. After graduating from high school, Kendall plans to attend college and become a psychology professor.