Girls Prep of the Week: Mary Gibler, Lely volleyball

It was only a matter of time before Lely's Mary Gibler showed up in this column.

The lone senior on the Trojans volleyball team, Gibler has played well all season, but now that the pressure is on she has showed that she can carry the team on her surgically-reconstructed shoulder. Gibler helped the Trojans to the 5A-District 14 title by accumulating 22 kills, 5 aces, 27 digs, and 2 blocks for a total of 29 points, in wins against Estero and Golden Gate last week.

"It has been a frustrating year, to say the least, for her," Lely coach Dan Selvey said. "She puts a lot of pressure on herself already and she wasn't able to play up to her ability."

After playing through pain all of last season, Gibler still managed to be named the Naples Daily News Player of the Year and lead her team to the first of two straight 5A-District 14 titles. She had surgery in March to repair the damage, but has been hampered by an extended recovery process.

"Years of swinging away took a toll," Gibler said.

"It gave her problems all last year," Selvey said. "Usually, it takes three to six weeks to get the strength back afterward but it was 10, 12 weeks and she is just now getting all of her strength back."

"It was tough because I would come out strong but I would tail off," Gibler said. "I'm finally at the point where I can be the caliber of player I was before."

The slow start by Gibler was a mixed blessing for the Lely team. Without their star player fully up to speed, a youthful roster helped fill the void.

"It was great to develop some of the younger players," Selvey said. "Now Mary is coming on strong so we have all the right parts of the puzzle coming together at the right time."

"As the season progressed and the team started doing better it motivated me," Gibler said.

The Trojans will host Cypress Lake in the first round of the 5A regional on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

OTHERS CONSIDERED

Ann Buersmeyer, Community School golf — Led Seahawks to second place at regional and state berth by shooting a 77.

Elise Haan, Gulf Coast swimming — Won two individual events and was on two winning relays as the Sharks won the district title.

Brooke Kuhlman, Barron Collier volleyball — Had 16 kills and 41 digs in two matches as the Cougars won a district championship.

Karen Liu, Community School swimming — Won four events, including the 200 IM and 100 butterfly, as Seahawks won the district championship.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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