Volleyball player CeCe Madison is back to her old self.

The Midlothian High School graduate said she feels free of the 2017 injury suffered her sophomore season, her first at Oral Roberts University after transferring from Virginia Commonwealth University.

"I was at a place of being fearful of that all the time," said the senior outside hitter, a captain. "It was a lot of mental work. This season I'm not wearing my brace anymore. That was a daily reminder of my surgery."   

In 11 of the first 12 matches she played this season, she had at least ten kills. As of Wednesday, she led the Summit League in kills and was ninth in digs. The 5-foot-10 Madison was named to the Sam Houston State University Invitational all-tournament team.

"This year is her year," Oral Roberts head coach Sheera Sirola said. "She is doing amazing. She is our go-to player."

"She worked so hard with the rehab," the coach continued. "She's very determined. She's very driven."

Madison tore the anterior cruciate ligament late in the 2017 season, when she was named to the all-league team after finishing eighth in the conference in kills.

"That was a horrible blow to us because she was doing so awesome," Sirola said.

After surgery in November 2017, Madison spent the first eight weeks wearing a straight leg brace and walking with crutches, she said. She did not do any volleyball activities for five months and basically only practiced passing during spring camp, she said, before being medically cleared in July 2018.

Her hitting effectiveness dipped in 2018, though she improved in digs and blocks. But now, not even midseason, she has been producing in kills, digs and blocks.

This year she had ten double-doubles, including five consecutive, through her 12 matches. She had 21 kills and 13 digs in a loss to Clemson and a season-high 25 kills to lead all players during a setback to Central Arkansas.

Madison cited the importance of power and finesse in attacks, for some plays require a hard strike and others a soft tap.

"It's finding different ways to score, realizing there's a lot of easier ways to score and how to use the block for my advantage," she said.

Men's soccer in brief   

Waxahachie High graduate Rolando Nieto started five of six games for University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. The sophomore midfielder scored once.

Paris Junior College sophomore defender Raymond Kennedy started the first eight games and scored once. He played for Waxahachie.

Previously at Midlothian Heritage, sophomore midfielder Travis Floyd started the first six games for East Texas Baptist University.

Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at jdanddoc@gmail.com.