On the first day of basketball camp Monday, Lady Aces players dutifully performed their roles as camp leaders, helping coach Tim Willis and his staff put a group of excitable youngsters through their paces.
The tallest of the players, Alex Rosignol, was right there helping, seeming oblivious to the fact that she had a crutch under each arm.
Having already cast aside the immediate heartache that came with a serious knee injury that will cost her most of her senior season, including all of the volleyball season and an undetermined portion of basketball as well, Rosignol was charging ahead in her new role. On Facebook, her family called it “cheerleader.” But, it will almost certainly be more than that.
“She will still serve as captain for this team,” said Lady Aces volleyball coach Beth Bunting. “She will now serve her team from the sidelines.”
Rosignol was an All-Big Eight Conference selection in both sports, but volleyball was her sport of choice.
“I am greatly saddened for Alex because of her love of the sport and it being her senior year,” Bunting said.
Willis was also concerned about the loss on a personal level.
“You feel sick for the kid,” he said. “Alex has worked really hard to be a good player, both in volleyball and basketball. We’ll adjust as a team because that’s what teams do. The only worry I have is for her to get better and get it fixed and do the rehab she needs to get so she can play collegiately.”
Rosignol, who had already completed a spring season with an Evansville club volleyball team, suffered the injury during a basketball game last week. At first, she was hopeful that only her meniscus was injured. Over the weekend, a second look by doctors confirmed the worst - it was a tear in the ACL of her left knee, which will keep her out of action for at least six months.
Surgery is still six weeks away, but being on crutches was important to “build up the muscles” around the injury, according to Rosignol.
“Thankfully, this injury can be repaired and she will go on and do great things. I am sure of that,” Bunting said.
Said Willis: “She’ll bounce back. She’s strong.”
The Lady Aces season begins in November, and ends with tournament play in February. However, with surgery still six weeks ago, Willis said it was too early to speculate on any kind of recovery timeline. “She may or may not get back for us this year, but if she doesn’t she still has a lot of sports left,” he said.
SIU had been recruiting her in volleyball, though there were basketball coaches still hoping she would change her mind and play that sport instead.