Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Geist gets start in DII title game

This was my favorite story from the weekend. Greta has been battling another round of Hodgkin's lymphoma. Coach Terry Culhane gave her the start and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

 By Nick Hansen (nhansen@marshallindependent.com) , Marshall Independent
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -Even though Greta Geist hadn't played volleyball in nearly a month, it was an easy decision for Southwest Minnesota State coach Terry Culhane to start her in the national championship match against the University of Tampa.
Geist is battling a reappearance of Hodgkins Lymphoma and will be starting another round of treatment after the season.
Even though Geist was subbed out right away, she got a standing ovation from both SMSU and Tampa fans.

Article Photos

Photo by Anna Haecherl-Smith
SMSU’s Greta Geist waits to be introduced for the Division II National Championship match on Saturday.
"It was an out of body experience," said Geist after the match.
Geist has been on her teammates mind ever since she had to take a break from playing in early November.
She noticed that her neck started hurting again and the pain became out of the ordinary after a Thursday practice.
The mother of a teammate took her urgent care on a Saturday morning and Geist went back to her house near the Twin Cities later that day. She had an appointment with her doctor on Monday.
"Right when my oncologist felt my neck she knew my cancer was back right away. That was really hard to hear," said Geist. After more tests at the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital, they found out that the cancer was 2 centimeters bigger than it was the pervious time.
"My treatment is going to be way harsher. It's going to be like the springtime, times 1,000," said Geist. The cancer is still stage two and Geist said it hasn't spread anywhere else.
Even though the Mustangs' season ended on the court, they're committed to being good teammates in the offseason.
"We are a close-knit group. We're good teammates during the season. We need to continue to be better teammates while Greta battles through this," said Culhane after the match.
"We'll rally for her. We'll be together through this battle for her," said teammate Whitney Burmeister.
The Mustangs warmed up in their violet t-shirts that were emblazoned with the words "Team Greta."
Geist was happy she was able to make the trip to Louisville, even though her doctors were initially hesitant.
She sat on the bench with clipboard in hand and was fully invested during the match. She got out of her chair and cheered when teammate Kenzie Beekman made a particularly powerful kill.
Geist has appreciated the support of her teammates and coaches, even though she couldn't be with them all the time.
"My teammates are amazing. It helped me a lot and will help me through the experience of my treatment, too," she said.

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