Yorktown volleyball standout Elyse Bush left Wednesday’s match against Washington-Lee with an apparent left knee injury and the Patriots suffered their first National District loss since 2007.
Bush, a senior outside hitter, landed awkwardly near the net after putting away a kill in game two. The 2008 first-team all-Northern Region selection fell to the ground in pain as the crowd at Yorktown High School went silent. Bush was helped to the bench and did not return. She sat in the same spot icing her knee for the remainder of the match, even as the teams switched sides between games.
After the match, Bush stood with crutches while wearing a large brace on her left leg. The 2008 district Player of the Year said she experienced a “really intense” and “sharp” pain at the time of her injury and would go to the hospital that night.
Bush was optimistic about the severity of her injury, saying she planned on playing in next week’s district tournament.
Yorktown won the first game and led 14-8 when Bush was injured in game two. The Patriots struggled without their best player on the floor and lost 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 25-18, 21-25, 15-10).
“The thing is, when you have an injury like this, it’s not about the pain,” said Bush, who tallied seven kills in one-and-a-half games. “It’s about not being able to play. Obviously, I was struggling over here because we were losing. I just wanted to get out there, help and do my part, but I couldn’t, so it’s frustrating.”
The loss dropped Yorktown’s record to 12-6 overall, 6-1 in the National District. The Patriots enter the district tournament on a three-match losing streak.
“Mostly, I’m sad for [Bush],” Yorktown head coach Brittanie Behar said. “That’s a really hard way to end your season --- if it’s something that is really serious. Hopefully it’s not.”
During the match, Behar appeared frustrated with the Patriots’ performance.
“We can beat teams like Washington-Lee without Elyse,” the coach said. “We are having a confidence issue. Our mistakes are causing us to lose, not the other team is doing so much we can’t (respond). … As soon as [Bush] gets off the court, the things that we do well we stop doing well, which is weird. We should still be able to hit whether she’s there or not --- but we’re struggling. Hopefully we’re going to regroup and come out strong next week.”
Sophomore middle blocker Ashley Rock led Yorktown with 11 kills, and freshman Katie Rock had nine. Senior Courtney Duran tallied six.
Meanwhile, Washington-Lee created a momentum boost heading into the district tournament.
“From day one, our girls have said, ‘When is our Yorktown game? When is our Yorktown game?’” first-year Generals head coach Rebecca Baltare said. “We’ve been looking forward to this all season.”
Junior middle blocker Aliya Winker led Washington-Lee with 13 kills. Six-foot middle blocker Mary Swan tallied 10 kills and junior outside hitter Rebecca Jones finished with nine.