LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Katie Hanson has had her sights set on this volleyball season for a long time.
For the first time since 2011, Hanson is back to the place she loves the most - the volleyball court.
"It's amazing. I love it," she said. "It's definitely been a long haul."
It's been a long time since the former first-team All-MVC player has been by the net though. She tore her ACL after her sophomore season.
"I had no idea what was going on, I had never been hurt bad," she said. "I cried because they told me it was going to be at least six months before I could do anything. It was very sad I was really upset about it."
Hanson pushed through the initial heartbreak and spent the next few months rehabbing, and was cleared to play summer volleyball.
"I was over the moon, so excited. I was ready to do stuff, I had the option to wait for a customized brace, but I said no," Hanson said. "I didn't want to wait that long, I wanted the brace now so I could go play that night."
Within five minutes of play though, Hanson had to call her dad back. She had injured herself for the second time in just six months.
"It's devastating. I was crushed," she said.
That injury kept her on the sidelines for her entire junior season. Red Raiders coach Amy Olson brought Hanson back to the team as a manager that season, but it was clear how badly Hanson wanted to be back on the court.
Katie spent numerous hours in the weight room, rehabbing for her main goal to return for her senior season.
"That was the goal we set with my physical therapist," Hanson said. "I'm going to be back for that. I'm going to be 100 percent. I want jump, I want to do everything that I can."
After 23 months away from the volleyball court, Hanson is now fully healthy and finally is back in the Red and Black.
"I knew I always wanted to come back," she said, "because they always say senior year is your year and I wanted that so bad."
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