After losing the majority of its scoring from last season with the departures of Rebecca Greenwell, Lexie Brown and Erin Mathias, Duke hoped that two players coming off significant injuries would be able to fill the void.
Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, redshirt junior Kyra Lambert will miss her second consecutive season after reinjuring her left knee. According to a press release from the team, Lambert will undergo surgery next month to repair a torn meniscus and to reconstruct her ACL. The Cibolo, Texas, native suffered the initial injury during the first round of the 2017 NCAA tournament against Hampton.
“She has worked tirelessly to get back. Unfortunately, she cannot catch a break. She will undergo a third surgery and looks forward to her future opportunity to compete for one or two years more at Duke," head coach Joanne P. McCallie said in a statement. "We will pursue every opportunity for her. This year she will serve as a very valuable student coach and mentor. We are devastated for her and her family. But, we are emboldened by her spirit and fight.”
Lambert excelled in the starting role during her sophomore season and was slated to be the team's primary ball-handler and a go-to scoring option alongside her classmates Haley Gorecki and Faith Suggs. Lambert is also one of four captains for the 2018-19 squad. The 5-foot-9 guard averaged 7.8 points, 3.5 assists and 1.7 steals per contest during the 2016-17 campaign in which she started each of the team's 33 contests.
Although scheduled to graduate this upcoming May, Lambert still has two years of eligibility remaining. The explosive guard plans to spend her time supporting her teammates and is confident this team will be successful.
“I will continue to lead, encourage, and support my team in every way that I can," Lambert said. "I sincerely thank the coaches, my team, athletic training staff, and everyone who has supported me through this time. I am trusting the process and looking forward to a strong recovery.”
The Blue Devils will open the regular season Nov. 11 on the road against Northwestern.
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Digital Strategy Director for Vol. 115, Michael was previously Sports Editor for Vol. 114 and Assistant Blue Zone Editor for Vol. 113. Michael is a senior majoring in Statistical Science and is interested in data analytics and using data to make insights.