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High school volleyball: Buffalo’s Persinger finds success, despite maladies

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Earlier this year, Buffalo volleyball player Courtney Persinger was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, causing serious side effects, putting her career in jeopardy.

The senior libero had been a standout player for three seasons, starting and helping Buffalo to the State Tournament every year.

After her health scare, Persinger made her way back onto the court. Although she still has issues with her condition, Persinger is fighting through it.

"When I was first diagnosed, I lost my vision for a while," Persinger said. "I was really scared. I was afraid that I might not get to come back and play, but I did, and everything is good. I give the glory to God for that.

"I'm picking myself back up and going through some troubles with conditioning but it's going good. This is what I want to do and what I have always wanted to do. I'm just glad to be back out here again."

Persinger was manning her usual libero position during Buffalo's tri-match at the Volleyball Showcase at the Charleston Civic Center on Tuesday night, where the Bison split their matches against Roane County and Riverside.

Buffalo was one of 12 state teams at the Showcase, and after disposing of the Class AA Raiders 25-16, 25-7, the Bison dropped their final match against Class AAA Riverside 20-25, 20-25.

Persinger has been through a lot this season but is certainly glad to be back on the court after her serious health battle.

As is Buffalo Coach Brian Null.

"She has been through a lot this year," Null said. "After getting diagnosed with diabetes and celiac disease, she has had to change her entire diet midstream, through practices and everything. She is still trying to get her conditioning up where it needs to be."

Null knows how important Persinger is to the program.

"To be a four-year starter at libero, without a middle school program, that's amazing," Null said. "After almost every game, the other coach tells me they told their girls not to serve to her. But she just kept getting it anyway.

"That's what she does. We have her cover about half the court by herself. Her job is to go get the ball and she does an excellent job of it. I couldn't be happier with her."

Persinger has been a standout player the last four years for a strong Buffalo program that has made the State Tournament in all but two seasons since Class A was separated into its own classification in the postseason.

"It's awesome to know I have been to the State Tournament every year," Persinger said. "We have great coaches and great girls. We mesh really well and are a great team. I hope we can make it back."


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