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Bemidji State women's basketball: Trabing back on track

BEMIDJI — Bemidji State redshirt sophomore Erica Trabing has missed the each of the last two seasons due to season-ending injuries.

This season, her main focus is simply staying healthy and being able to contribute to the team throughout the 2013-14 season.

“To be honest, staying healthy for the duration of the season is my biggest personal goal,” Trabing said. “We are having a really good season and it will be fun playing in January in comparison to sitting out like I had to in the last two seasons.”

After playing in just one game in the 2011-12 season, Trabing appeared in just seven games last year before another injury took her out for the season.

“It was more mentally tough than anything,” Trabing said of the second injury. “We had a really good start, so it was really tough to miss another season.”

“It was extremely tough on everyone,” Bemidji State head coach Mike Curfman added. “You see how competitive she is and how hard she works, so seeing her get hurt once is one thing, but a second time was just hard to see.”

Curfman acknowledged that he would have understood if Trabing would have given up on basketball after the second injury, but he credits the sophomore for never losing her spirit.

“To her credit, she never pouted about it,” Curfman said. “She was frustrated, without question, but she did a great job rehabbing. A lot of people would probably say two season-ending injuries would be enough and they would walk away, but not Erica.”

Despite totaling just 62 career minutes prior to this season, Trabing earned being named captain because of her hard work in the classroom and leadership off of the floor.

“She is an unbelievable student,” Curfman said. “The fact that she has not been able to help us on the basketball court during the last two seasons does not mean she has not helped us in other ways. She was named captain because she is a great leader. She may be a sophomore basketball-wise, but she has all of the tools you look for in a captain.”

“Off the court, I have always tried to be a leader for the team,” Trabing said. “I have always done pretty well in school and being a leader on this team has always been a goal of mine.”

So far in the first four games of her sophomore season, Trabing has appeared in each game off the bench, with her best performance coming in a 93-47 win over Finlandia on Nov. 19 — where she scored two points and dished out four assists in 14 minutes.

“It is never easy,”Trabing said of returning to action this season. “It is obviously a little new being out there again, but it feels great doing what I love.”

“It is a matter of getting her some playing time,” Curfman said of his early season expectations for Trabing. “You can watch and practice all you want, but getting on the floor and playing is something you have to do in order to bounce back from an injury.”

As the season progresses, it is expected that Trabing receives an increased role from the average of just over eight minutes per game she has played thus far.

“I expect my role to grow a little bit as the season goes on,” Trabing said. “Coming off another injury, I am obviously a little rusty, but I am going to keep working hard.”

“It would be great to see her healthy for a full season,” Curfman said. “I know what she can do and so does she, but missing two years can take a toll on a player. I am anxious to see what she can do in a full season.”

“I would envision that she becomes more and more important as the season goes on,” Curfman continued. “I know she has the capability to help us down the road.”

Trabing and the Beavers will look to continue its perfect start and improve to 5-0 for the second consecutive season as they take on Minnesota Crookston in Crookston today at 2 p.m.

“Our chemistry is really good this year,” Trabing said. “Our seniors have been great leaders and everything is clicking. We come ready to practice and we are ready for games. Hopefully we can keep it up.”