Injuries once again shorten Bannister’s season

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Three years at Texas, two injuries and one season actually played. That has been the career of redshirt sophomore Ashley Bannister, Texas volleyball outside hitter, so far.

The Sugar Land native suffered the second season-ending injury of her career this weekend because of pain and a complication of issues. Bannister has played only three matches this season, tallying 10 kills, six digs and one block.

For the 6-foot-1-inch Bannister, her career hasn’t been what she expected here at UT. She came in as the No. 12 recruit in the country with high hopes of a long career. She played only seven matches her freshman year before her season ended with an ankle injury during practice.

After redshirting that first year, she came back as a redshirt sophomore and was again limited due to injury. Bannister played only seven matches throughout that season where she finished with 11 kills and a hitting percentage of .147.

“She has had to deal with pain on a daily basis with her shins, which has limited her ability to practice at a high level,” athletic trainer DeAnn Koehler said.  “After conferring with our physicians, we did not feel medically that Ashley could continue due to the pain she was experiencing.”

While Bannister’s injuries have limited her career to this point, she has done everything can to get back on the court. She hasn’t stopped practicing or working hard in order to get back to her injury-free potential.

“Unfortunately, with all the injuries she incurred, Ashley has not been able to display the skills that made her one of the premier players when she first came to the University of Texas,” Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “She has experienced numerous injuries throughout her career here. Ashley did everything that all of us asked her to do in order to get back and we feel for her. We appreciate all she has given to make this program better.”

This won’t stop her from being a part of the team. As the Longhorns work to become a top team in the nation and bring back a championship, Bannister will always be at their side.

“Playing for the University of Texas volleyball program has been a great honor and privilege,” Bannister said. “I am looking forward to cheering on the team as they continue their journey to Louisville, Ky. and a national championship.”