UMaine’s Nalivaika suffers season-ending knee injury

By Pete Warner, BDN Staff
Posted Sept. 14, 2011, at 2:07 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — The frontcourt of the University of Maine women’s basketball team suffered a blow last week with an injury to Ali Nalivaika.

The sophomore post player from Worcester, Mass., has been diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. Nalivaika had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on the knee Friday that confirmed the injury.

“I was playing a pickup game,” she said of the injury, which occurred two weeks ago.

“I felt it go. It just gave out when I was running on a fast break,” she added. “I didn’t know that it was the ACL. I had a feeling that it could be, but I just waited for the MRI.”

Nalivaika is scheduled to undergo surgery on Oct. 5 and will spend the next 9-12 months working her way back through rehabilitation. She hopes to be back on the court next season.

Nalivaika is one of only five forwards on coach Richard Barron’s squad and at 6-foot-4 is the tallest.

Last season, she appeared in 21 games, averaging 4.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in a reserve role. Nalivaika had 32 blocked shots and shot almost 44 percent from the field.

Nalivaika is the latest in a long line of injuries suffered by UMaine women’s players in recent years. Teammate Rachele Burns of Gorham has the unfortunate distinction of leading that trend, having now undergone three surgeries on her right knee and one on her left.

“I have the team behind me,” Nalivaika said. “They’re helping me with everything right now.”

With her sidelined indefinitely, UMaine will lean more heavily on senior forward Samantha Baranowski, juniors Corinne Wellington and Samantha Wheeler and freshman Danielle Walczak.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Bowdoin’s Calnan national finalist</span>

Michaela Calnan, a 2011 graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, is among nine finalists for the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Calnan is one of three Division III student-athletes in the pool of finalists, who will gather Oct. 16 in Indianapolis for the announcement of the winner.

The 21st NCAA Woman of the Year Award recognizes female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service and leadership.

While in Indianapolis, nominees will participate in a community service project that gives honorees the chance to interact with young girls in the city and serve as role models for them.

At Bowdoin, Calnan played back on the field hockey team, helping the Polar Bears win three national championships. She also played ice hockey and served as a captain.

She was active in many campus and community projects and achieved a 3.63 grade point average while majoring in neuroscience with a minor in chemistry. Calnan graduated with honors.

Each athletic conference reviews the nominees from its member schools and selects at least one woman to represent the league. In Calnan’s case, it is the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>UM field hockey ranked 17th </span>

The UMaine field hockey team has continued to garner attention on the strength of its six-game winning streak.

Coach Josette Babineau’s Black Bears (6-1) are ranked No. 17 in the most recent WomensFieldHockey.com national poll.

UMaine also is threatening to crack the top 20 in the Kookaburra/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Natoinal Coaches Poll, having received 173 points in this week’s voting.

UMaine is scheduled to play Friday at Providence, R.I., where it also will take on Michigan State on Saturday afternoon.

The Bears are the No. 1 scoring team in the country, averaging 5.43 goals per game. Rider is next at 4.80.

Stephanie Gardiner leads UMaine with 21 points on the season and is sixth in the nation at 3.0 ppg. Kelly Newton leads Division I with 11 assists.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/14/sports/umaine%e2%80%99s-nalivaika-suffers-knee-injury/ printed on July 25, 2014