After 10 years of volleyball and a season on the Radcliffe heavyweight squad’s second varsity boat, Anne Carroll (“AC,” for short) Ingersoll found the hardest part of her athletic career was taking a break.
On the volleyball court, Ingersoll had been a dominating presence. As a freshman on the Harvard women’s volleyball team, she started all 25 games, culminating in an Ivy League Rookie of the Year award and an All-Ivy honorable mention.
By her junior year, Ingersoll was co-captain of the squad and had nabbed Academic All-Ivy League accolades.
So when her play started faltering during summer training before her senior season, she knew something was wrong.
“For the first few weeks [of summer training], I felt awesome—I was swinging hard and feeling great,” the California native said. “But as the months went on, I lost a lot of power and was just in a ton of pain. I couldn’t get a serve over the net.”
It quickly became clear to Ingersoll that, not only was something wrong, but that she would be unable to make it through her senior season with the pain.
Turns out, the outside hitter had a large tear in her labrum—the padding between the ball and socket of her shoulder—in addition to a small tear in her rotator cuff.
Ingersoll soon learned that the injury could only be repaired surgically.
“I got to the point where I had to decide to fix it and take time off, or let it be,” Ingersoll said. “The only option really for me was to get it fixed.”
Which is why the senior is now at home in California taking a semester off and undergoing rehabilitation and physical therapy, one month post-operation rather than fresh off her first Ivy League match with the Crimson.
For four months, Ingersoll will be unable to use her right arm for activities ranging from lifting, to pushing, to pulling. A recent victory was regaining the ability to type with two hands.
But the most difficult part is not the rehab, she said, but missing her senior season, missing her team, and missing the sport she has loved for so long.
“It’s so hard,” Ingersoll said. “This was going to be my senior season. [Christine] Wu, Sandra Lynne [Fryhofer], and I had been looking forward to this season since we were freshmen.”
The three—Wu, Fryhofer, and Ingersoll—had even dubbed themselves “The Golden Trio,” with plans to reign over the Ivy League during the 2011 season.
“It’s tough to realize that it’s ‘they’ rather than ‘we’ this season,” Ingersoll said.