Christian Murry will find out if he’s made a full recovery from a foot injury suffered last fall when the Simpson University men’s volleyball team opens the 2021 season at home on Feb. 21 in Redding.
“I’m at about 90-95 percent,” the 2019 Ceres High School grad said. “I still have to tape my ankle. It hurts sometimes. Once we have our first game, it should be completely healed.”
Murry, a 6-foot-3 sophomore outside hitter, broke his left ankle while playing volleyball outside on grass at school with Red Hawk teammates in September.
“I didn’t get to practice all semester,” he said. “It was very tough. It was hard watching from the sideline. I couldn’t help my team.”
Murry had his cast removed on Nov. 9.
“It was a hard recovery,” he said. “I was in a cast for 4-6 weeks. I was in a boot for a week. I feel like I’m better than I was before. I worked hard to get to where I’m at now.”
Physical therapy was done on campus.
“It was an everyday routine when I went to my trainers,” he said. “There was a lot of rehab.”
The Red Hawks had just 11 matches (0-11) in 2020.
Simpson University’s inaugural season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Murry played in two exhibition matches as a redshirt freshman for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school.
“I went to all of the practices and the majority of the games,” he said. “COVID hit and the season was over. We were bummed we couldn’t play. We had goals set we wanted to accomplish.”
Murry will have a bigger role on this year’s team.
He’ll contribute during regular-season matches.
“My role is different,” he said. “My teammates view me as a leader. I’m going to be there for them when they need me the most. I bring a lot of energy to the court. I’m going to treat every game like my last.”
The 2021 campaign is supposed to be played but could be postponed and/or canceled if there’s a surge in COVID cases.
“As of right now, we have a season. I’m very stoked. We’re going to be solid. We have a different mindset. We want to build a winning culture so we can recruit more players.”Christian Murry
“As of right now, we have a season,” Murry said. “I’m very stoked. We’re going to be solid. We have a different mindset. We want to build a winning culture so we can recruit more players.”
Murry and the Red Hawks started practicing for the upcoming season on Jan. 19.
“Starting this week, we’re going to have two-a-days,” he said. “I treat every practice like a game. I’m very hard on myself.”
Coronavirus protective measures are being followed.
“Before practice, we have to have our temperatures taken,” Murry said. “We have to wear masks. It’s getting our stamina up because we’re breathing heavier. They’ve done a good job of keeping us safe. Our COVID rate in Shasta County is .02 compared to other counties.”
Simpson University shifted to virtual classes due to COVID-19.
The only class Murry attends in-person is microbiology lab.
“It was a huge adjustment,” Murry said while talking about distance learning. “I adapted and it’s easier now.”
Murry has been granted an additional two years of athletic eligibility due to constraints COVID-19 has imposed on collegiate sports. The NAIA will not charge spring student-athletes a season of competition for the 2020-21 academic year.
“I never had the mindset of opting out of this season because our season got cut short last year,” he said. “It made me want to come back stronger.”
A kinesiology major, Murry plans to earn a master’s degree then his doctorate.
He wants to work in the medical field industry.
Murry played three seasons of varsity volleyball at Ceres High.
He helped lead the Bulldogs to their best season to date in 2019.
Ceres High amassed a 19-12 overall record, finished second in the WAC standings (9-3) and advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the second time in three years.
Already considered the school’s greatest boys volleyball player, Murry added to his resume by winning the Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player award during his final season with the Bulldogs.
He collected 248 digs, 164 kills, 37 blocks, 27 aces and 10 assists senior year.
Murry was voted WAC Defensive Player of the Year as a junior.
He garnered first-team all-conference recognition his sophomore year.
“I exceeded all of my expectations on the court,” Murry said. “I improved so much.”
Murry was a member of Ceres High’s varsity boys basketball team for two seasons.
He received WAC honorable-mention recognition senior year.
Murry averaged 8.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 rebounds per game while contributing at guard.