Riessen Granted Medical Exemption For Back Injury
Aug. 27, 2009
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State volleyball player Peggy Riessen has been granted an NCAA medical exemption scholarship for the 2009 season. Riessen, who was set to play her senior season in 2009, has struggled with back problems her entire career. The medical issues have reached a point that she cannot continue playing and has ended her collegiate career.
"The decision to end my volleyball career has truly been the hardest one of my life," Riessen said. "Although my career had to end before I wanted it to, I must do what is best for my long-term health and focus on my future. I will always have wonderful memories of playing volleyball for Illinois State and I would like to thank all of my teammates, coaches, fans, friends, and faculty at ISU for their support over the last three years. I have made lifelong friends here and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I was given. Whatever my future holds for me, I will always be a Redbird."
Riessen was an All-Missouri Valley Conference First-Team selection in 2008 after leading the Redbirds in kills (410), kills per set (3.63) and points (448.5). She had double-digit kills in 19 matches and led the Redbirds in kills 17 times. She was named to the Redbird Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 17.3 kills and recording a hitting percentage over .500 in two matches. She had a career-high 24 kills against Northern Illinois and Louisville last season.
Her performance last season led the Valley coaches to select her to the 2009 Preseason All-Valley Team.
In her three seasons at Illinois State, Riessen amassed 874 kills, 857 digs, 66 service aces and 982.5 points, the seventh-most by a Redbird since 2000. She averaged better than three kills per set in each of her final two seasons.
"A medical exemption is never easy for anyone, but at some point you have to take a step back and factor in the student-athlete's quality of life after college athletics," said ISU head coach Melissa Myers. "Despite the fact that Peggy's career has been plagued with ongoing injuries, she had one of the best seasons of her career last fall. We are certainly going to miss Peggy and appreciate the impact that she has made at Illinois State and within the MVC."
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