Madi Farrell figures that the severe knee injury that kept her from playing at the Idaho state volleyball tournament in 2011 has paid her back at least twofold.
Farrell’s Lake City Timberwolves will open play at the 5A State tournament in Post Falls at 10 a.m. today against Madison, last year’s runner-up team.
When the Timberwolves placed third at state two years ago, Farrell was a sophomore in the midst of recovering from a left knee injury she suffered while playing summer league basketball late in her freshman year. Farrell tore her anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and meniscus.
The eight-month layoff provided Farrell with unexpected inspiration.
“It’s definitely devastating, but you end up finding out more about yourself and what you can do,” Farrell said. “I knew I had a goal at the end of the finish line – to be back playing sports and being healthy.”
The rehab time also gave Farrell a career goal.
“I would like to major in physical therapy,” she said. “I think that all extends from hurting my knee.”
Farrell will continue her education and play volleyball in Nampa, Idaho, at Northwest Nazarene University, one of the top teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. She gave the Crusaders an oral commitment about three weeks ago.
The 6-foot-2 Farrell is also a top-flight basketball player for Lake City, coming off a junior season in which she was named Inland Empire League 5A newcomer of the year.
Farrell leads the Timberwolves with 88 blocks and 37 aces this season. She’s third in kills (184) and digs (113).
Farrell was born in Salem, Ore., but her family moved to Coeur d’Alene one month later. The Farrells relocated to Moscow, Russia, for Madi’s fourth- and fifth-grade years when her father, Dusty, was hired as an electrical engineer/manager at the U.S. Embassy. She and her older sister, Carly, 19, were home-schooled there by mother Anne.
The Farrells adopted their son, Roman, from an orphanage in Siberia about six years ago. He’s now a second-grader and Madi’s biggest cheerleader.
“He’s kind of a permanent souvenir from Russia,” Madi said.
This weekend, no matter what happens, will give Farrell another nice keepsake.
“It’s a nice reminder to know that I’m lucky to be out there playing, especially with what happened with the injury,” she said. … “It’s now in my past and I’ve moved forward.”
5A at Post Falls: Defending champion Lewiston (31-1), which is favored to repeat, opens at 8 a.m. against Vallivue. The Bengals’ lone loss came to 4A State favorite Skyview in the title match of the Linda Sheridan Classic.
4A at Lake City: Sandpoint (23-11) qualified for the eighth consecutive year. The Bulldogs won it all in 2006 and ’08, but they are 1-6 at state the last three years. They’ll open at 8 against Bishop Kelly. Three-time defending champion Century, which has been in the title match four straight years, opens at 8 against Middleton. Undefeated Skyview, which swept Century at the Rocky Mountain Champions Classic, opens at 10 against Canyon Ridge.
3A at CdA High: Last year’s runner-up, Priest River, qualified for a third consecutive year. The Spartans will open at 8 against Sugar-Salem. Defending champion Fruitland opens at 8 against Snake River.
2A at Lakeland High: Defending champion Nampa Christian will open at 8 against North Fremont. Firth (25-5), runner-up last year, opens at 10 against Malad.
1A Division I at Lewis-Clark State College: Wallace will open at 10 against Idaho City, which reached state by defeating defending champion Challis in a play-in game. Wallace ended Lakeside’s run of three consecutive state appearances.
1A Division II at Lewiston High: Defending champion Lighthouse Christian will open at 8 against Rockland.