Lying on the gym floor in pain, Lily Miller knew exactly what had happened to her left knee.
The senior outside hitter for the Westerville North girls volleyball team tore her left ACL during an OCC-Buckeye Division match Sept. 3 at home against Westerville Central. The sensation was familiar because she had suffered the same injury to her right knee before her freshman season.
The injury has put an end to Miller's career with the Warriors, but she has found other ways to remain a part of the program and help her coaches and teammates.
"Right now I'm doing something they call 'prehab' before my surgery," Miller said. "Basically it's working on range of motion and muscle strengthening so I will be able to come out stronger and it will be a little easier to get back into activity.
"It felt the same as the first time, and it's easier telling what's going on. I will have lots of physical therapy work ahead as well as lots of jumping and things like that."
At first, Miller's teammates missed her leadership during timeouts.
"Lily is a captain and in the huddle she would always do the 1, 2, 3 (countdown) and the first time she wasn't there, the girls were looking around wondering what they were supposed to do," coach Amanda Mosely said.
"The other day, Lily was in the huddle and she went, '1, 2, 3!' and everyone went right back at it. That's Lily's job, and that's what Lily does."
The Warriors were 4-8 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Olentangy Orange on Sept. 17.
In her five-plus matches before the injury, Miller had 32 kills, 28 digs and 10 aces.
"The first time (with an ACL injury) was kind of a bummer because it was the start of my high school career," Miller said. "But definitely not playing and just watching kind of slows the game down and you can get a play-by-play of the game.
"You see things from a coaching standpoint and can help your teammates out. You find out how much you can get excited for other people to do well on the court. Even when I'm not playing, I get just as excited when we score."
Miller begins practice daily by working with the training staff on her prehab. Then she heads to the gym to help out any way she can.
"I help shag balls (and) talk to my coaches and teammates," she said. "It feels like being a part of practice even though I'm not. I still get to have fun and joke around with my teammates."
The injury likely curbed Miller's playing for a college program.
"I will probably play intramural or club and I would like to play into my old age," said Miller, who has a 4.6 GPA. "I'm thinking of going into cognitive sciences or psychology at the moment or something in the health field. I'm definitely a math and science person."
Mosely said Miller still is an integral part of the program and it's her duty as coach to make sure it stays that way.
"When you get injured like this, it becomes easy for a coach to just put you on the end of the bench to do stats or have you go shag balls," Mosely said. "I told her to not let me be that coach. I want her to be involved. I want her here, learning and being essential to the program.
"When we have injured players they walk out with the team and get their names announced with the rest of her teammates. They are still part of the team. Once a Warrior, always a Warrior."
Boys golfers finish fifth in OCC-Buckeye
The boys golf team went 3-17 in the four-round OCC-Buckeye tournament to finish fifth behind Olentangy Liberty (19-1), Orange (17-3), Central (11-9) and Olentangy (9-11) and ahead of Westerville South (1-19).
In the final round Sept. 11 at Darby Creek, the Warriors were fifth (360) behind first-place Liberty (290). Jack Yancey led North with an 83, followed by Andrew Scurlock (86), Rocco Thomas (93), Kobe Hunter (98) and Ian McComb (99).
Scurlock (87.3) and Yancey (88.75) led the Warriors in league average.
North will play in a Division I sectional Oct. 1 at Darby Creek.
Girls tennis squad searches for third win
The girls tennis team was 2-10 overall before playing Granville on Sept. 17.
The Warriors close their OCC-Buckeye schedule Monday, Sept. 23, at Olentangy. They are 1-3 in the league.
North defeated South for its league victory, 3-2 on Sept. 3, as Aubrey McMahon won at first singles.
Also winning were the doubles teams of Sophia DiCarlo and Emylee Preston and Emily Buss and Kayla Cochran.
Preston and Emma Weisgerber won at first doubles in a 4-1 loss to Lancaster on Sept. 12.
Below are the coming schedules for the North cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 21 -- Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster
Sept. 21 -- Watterson Invitational at Clover Valley
Sept. 23 -- Reynoldsburg and Westerville South at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 19 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Royal American
Sept. 24 -- Grove City at Pinnacle
Sept. 25 -- Westerville Cup at Royal American
Sept. 21 -- At Watkins Memorial
*Sept. 24 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty
Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto
*Sept. 24 -- At Liberty
*Sept. 23 -- At Olentangy
Sept. 24 -- At Hilliard Darby
Sept. 25 -- At Hilliard Bradley
*Sept. 19 -- At Westerville Central. The Warriors lost to the Warhawks 25-15, 25-21, 25-15 on Sept. 3.
Sept. 23 -- At Newark
*Sept. 24 -- Home vs. Olentangy. The Warriors lost to the Braves 25-12, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23 on Sept. 5.