West Orange High duo return to the volleyball court | West Orange Times & Observer


As Lucy Noegel and Sara Reinbolt perform in West Orange High sand volleyball practice, there is a sense of comfort in the smallest of moments.

The warm sand beneath their feet, the cool breeze blowing and the sound of volleyballs echo through Veterans Park in Winter Garden. From an outsider’s perspective, it’s nothing but practice – for Noegel and Reinbolt, it’s an act of perseverance in the face of great adversity.

Last year, both girls suffered significant injuries. In Noegel’s case, she is fortunate enough to be alive after a car crash puts her in hospital with multiple fractures and fractures of her pelvis, hip, spine, femur. , patella, ribs and face. This is why getting back into the mix has been a challenge that she accepts despite the difficulties.

“I’m closer to where I was before now, but I don’t know if I’m really going to be there – which is good,” Noegel said. “(Because) I hadn’t played for so long and (because) so much had happened to my body, my timing was bad – when I was going up to hit the ball I was just getting there early or late.” . “


Lucy Noegel and her mother, Christina Noegel, were driving in Georgia on vacation in June 2020. The two were in a cornering lane when struck from behind, which pushed them into oncoming traffic where another car hit the passenger side of the vehicle – On Lucy’s side.

Although Christina Noegel was briefly knocked out and suffered minor injuries, paramedics were forced to use the jaws of life to force Lucy Noegel out of the car before airlifting her to a trauma hospital.

The West Orange junior, now 17, spent two months in a wheelchair before embarking on three months of physiotherapy. The therapy wasn’t bad, but not being able to play the 2020 indoor volleyball season was tough, she said.

“It was kinda suck,” said Lucy Noegel. “I didn’t really do much – I wasn’t home alone because I really couldn’t move. … But I mean, it got better and it got easier.

A few months before the accident, Reinbolt was facing his own difficulties. As of February 2020, Reinbolt was doing sand volleyball, weightlifting and indoor volleyball. The wear and tear on her body was taking its toll that she didn’t know at the time.

At first, Reinbolt, now a senior at West Orange, said she felt incredibly sore – with pain in her left hip. She was confused and could barely walk, but her doctor told her it was just because she was overexerting herself. Then, a visit to an orthopedic doctor revealed the truth: She had a torn labrum and a stress fracture on her left hip.

“They told me what happened, and they said it should usually heal over time, but the way my stress fracture impacted my tear was really bad, and it didn’t kept irritating him – making me suffer so much, ”Reinbolt mentioned.

“It was really heartbreaking, because I was like, ‘I can’t play the only sport that I’m really passionate about and that I really love’, because I wanted to go to college for that, and I was talking to a few schools, too, “she said.” When the time was right and I was in so much pain, I was like, ‘I don’t think I can play in college, because I don’t not know how the operation is going to be after that – if i’m gonna be the player i was before.

Originally, Reinbolt was scheduled for surgery in November, but the pain was so severe it lasted until September. It took three months of recovery and physical training after surgery to start to recover.


With the two girls stuck on the sidelines during the indoor season, both have found refuge in training and helping out where they can.

In Lucy Noegel’s case, he served as the manager of the Warriors’ JV team – helping the girls learn the game – while also helping the coach of the Five Stars Volleyball Club 12U team. Meanwhile, Reinbolt was helping coach the 11U team at Oviedo Volleyball Academy.

For Reinbolt, despite the absence of the indoor season, the coaching actually helped her gain confidence and lift her off the ground.

Since being cleared to return to the sport, Lucy Noegel has been able to play for her club’s 17U team, but the two are now members of a West Orange sand volleyball team that was last formed. minute before the start of the season.

That things are working for the team and for Lucy Noegel and Reinbolt, it’s amazing, said head coach Rachel Johnson.

“Lucy is such a strong player, and she has the best attitude – it’s so crazy that something like this happened to her not even a year ago,” she said.

“And the same can be said for Sara too,” she said. “I saw a video of Sara serving at her senior night – it was the only rotation she’s had all season – and she served an ace, and she couldn’t even walk the field from the service line. Seeing where she’s at now – jumping, running and diving again – it’s really great to see them both back on the pitch.

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