The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Tennis player returns from season-ending injury

UNK’s Clare Plachy was named MIAA women’s tennis athlete of the week earlier this season after returning from an injury. Courtesy Photo

Injuries are a part of any sport and for many athletes, one big injury can change their whole career. But for UNK tennis player Clare Plachy, a serious injury was just a minor setback for a major comeback.

Plachy had never been through the process of recovering from a major injury before January 2023, when she ruptured her Achilles tendon during a doubles match.

“It was definitely difficult,” Plachy said. “I had never experienced any big injuries before, so it was a whole new experience. Working with physical therapists and learning how to do all of those little things again was tough. You never think about those things until they’re happening.”

Plachy suffered her injury just days before the start of the spring season. She was set to play No. 4-6 singles and No. 3 doubles before her season ended.

Playing a sport that requires constant practice and time spent on the court, it was even harder of a journey for Plachy to get back to where she was.

“I had surgery a couple days after I got hurt, but I was still non-weight-bearing for 10 weeks,” Plachy said. “Progressing back from all that time I couldn’t practice or even walk was hard. Normally, if you take a couple days off, or even a week, you’ll fall behind. It just takes a lot of time and dedication to come back from that.”

Plachy started playing tennis when she was 5 years old, thanks to some family friends getting her involved in lessons. Clare and her twin brother Joseph have been in love with the game since.

Hailing from Lincoln, Plachy attended Pius X High School where she excelled both in the classroom and on the court. As a senior, she won the NSAA Class A state title in No. 1 singles, winning all four of her matches.

When it was time for Plachy to choose a college to continue her tennis career, she was intrigued by the scholarships that UNK had to offer. She also felt a connection with UNK women’s tennis coach Scott Shafer.

“I really liked talking with Scott (Shafer) throughout the recruiting process,” Plachy said. “UNK had the best scholarship opportunities for me, academically and athletically. It fit all the boxes for me.”

As a freshman, Plachy competed in No. 5 and 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. She has worked her way back into the rotation this year playing No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. 

UNK is entering the busiest few weeks of their spring season, with eight matches scheduled throughout the month of April. After that stretch, it will be time for the MIAA Tournament at the beginning of May.

After the spring season is finished, Plachy plans to teach lessons at the Ernest Grundy Tennis Center in Kearney. Most of her other time will be spent refining her tennis skills and building for next season.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *