Girls' basketball: A Mater Dei star may be out for the season
Santa Ana Mater Dei's Alexyz Vaioletama might be out for the season. The 6-foot-1 junior has stress fractures in both of her shins. Vaioletama and her teammates Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Jordan Adams played on the 16-under national team that won the gold medal in Mexico in August.
Vaioletama, who averaged nine points and 10 rebounds last season, thought she had shin splints and rested from August to October. Her doctor broke the news to her this month that her injury hasn't healed, and if she plays she risks the need to have rods inserted in her legs. Her condition will be reevaluated monthly.
Coach Kevin Kiernan said he refuses to risk the heavily recruited forward's future. "There's no surgery or magic tape," Kiernan said. He added that, without Vaioletama, the team's "margin for error is small."
Mater Dei is projected to be one of the nation's top teams this year. The Monarchs were both Trinity League and CIF champions last season, finishing with a record of 32-1.
Although Kiernan admits that losing Vaioletama is a blow to his team, he is confident the Monarchs will remain a national threat and his other players will step up in her absence. Mater Dei defeated nationally ranked Long Beach Poly last weekend without Vaioletama. "We still have a lot of talent," Kiernan said.
-- Melissa Rohlin
Photo: Alexyz Vaioletama, early in her Mater Dei career. Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times