Sofia Miller

Returning to sports after an ACL injury

Photo+courtesy+of+Sofia+Miller

Photo courtesy of Sofia Miller

Sofia Miller, a Battlefield high school volleyball and basketball player, officially returned to varsity sports last fall after suffering a season-ending ACL tear in January of the 2021-2022 basketball season.

“My mind was blank, all I could focus on was the pain,” said Miller. Miller’s first thought after tearing her ACL was that she would miss her final travel basketball season as well as the chance to play in college. She felt robbed of the ability to participate in sports her senior year, not knowing she would return nine months later.

Miller has been an athlete since elementary school, playing volleyball and basketball through her senior year of high school. She previously played for the Vogues, Lady Storm, Synergy, Team Voltage, Revolution, Gainesville Elite, and Gainesville Travel. Sofia was part of GTS Fusion last summer, but she was unable to play due to the ACL injury. Instead, she cheered on her teammates from the bench and traveled with them all summer.

As volleyball season began this school year, Miller had a month of recovery left before returning to sports. She spent the season focusing on becoming a better captain and learning how to lead with her words rather than her example. Her physician finally released her to play, and she stated, “I got cleared and I still wasn’t playing. It brought back the same feeling I got when I injured myself. Except this time, it may have been worse. I had been so used to playing all the time, but now my coaches were refusing to play me thinking that I was too fragile.”

Despite the difficulty returning, Miller started and played on her senior night. Senior night was her first full game after playing only one set of the prior game. Looking back on that night, Miller said, “I was pretty nervous. I realized that I was being just as harsh on myself as I normally would, excusing the fact that I hadn’t played a whole game in nine months.”

Immediately following the volleyball season, Miller pivoted to basketball. During the first few games of the basketball season, Miller averaged twenty points, nine rebounds, three assists, and four blocks. Miller stated that the start of the basketball season was difficult, particularly because she felt out of shape even with physical therapy, basketball workouts, and volleyball practices. Miller intended to “just to make the most out of the season. I want this season to be my best one yet.”

Miller’s Battlefield sports achievements include team MVP for Battlefield’s 2022-2023 basketball season and team co-MVP for Battlefield’s 2021-2022 basketball season despite her season-ending ACL injury. She received two Second Team All-Cedar Run District honors and two Honorable Mention honors for basketball. NOVA HOOPS named Sofia player of the week for her strong start to the 2022-2023 basketball season. In volleyball, Miller was a 2021 district champion and a 2022 regular season and district champion.

Sofia plans to attend a four-year college and major in computer science. She does, however, have backup majors in case she changes her mind. She is still undecided about playing college basketball, but she does have the opportunity with college coaches watching her season film and evaluating statistics from previous years. Miller stated that if she does not end up playing for a school, then she will participate in club or intramural sports at whichever university she attends.

Despite the injury and obstacles Sofia faced, she persevered and was able to participate in both varsity sports her senior year. With everything she has accomplished, she strives to always be a better teammate and person, both on and off the court.