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Ligonier Valley graduate Daugherty works through pain

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Lock Haven guard Emily Daughtery brings the ball down court against Seton Hill during their game at Seton Hill University on Jan. 08, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Lock Haven guard Emily Daughtery brings the ball down court against Seton Hill during their game at Seton Hill University on Jan. 08, 2013.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Lock Haven guard Emily Daughtery pulls down a rebound in front of Seton Hill forward Katie Gattuso during their game at Seton Hill University on Jan. 08, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Lock Haven guard Emily Daughtery pulls down a rebound in front of Seton Hill forward Katie Gattuso during their game at Seton Hill University on Jan. 08, 2013.

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Lock Haven University redshirt junior guard Emily Daugherty, a Ligonier Valley grad, has faced a great deal of hardships throughout her college career.

Losing her older sister definitely has been the hardest.

Daugherty received news Oct. 27 that her 23-year-old sister, Ali, also a Ligonier Valley grad, had been killed in a car crash, the same day Lock Haven was scheduled to open its season against Penn State.

“She was my best friend,” Daugherty said. “My team knows everything that was going on and that I was working through all that.”

Daugherty returned home for a little more than a week following her sister's death before returning to school and her team in an effort to keep everything normal, she said.

Under normal circumstances, basketball always was a release from life's problems, but this was different.

“That triggered a lot of things, because on the court, that's where Ali would see me play,” Daugherty said. “At practice sometimes I would have to walk away.”

Yet in the midst of her life's greatest tragedy, it was another setback that allowed her to take a step forward.

In her first game of the season against Wilmington University on Nov. 9, Daugherty broke her wrist. Although she played with the injury until the beginning of December, she was sidelined for the last three weeks of the month.

“Being off the court with my injury gave me time to think about and deal with everything,” Daugherty said. “Breaking the wrist was kind of a blessing in disguise.”

It wasn't the first time the talented guard missed time with an injury while at Lock Haven. She redshirted her second year on the team after suffering a torn ACL in her first team practice of the season.

Daugherty was prepared to play through the pain but ultimately elected to sit out the season to prevent any further damage.

“Sitting out makes you see a lot of things differently.” Daugherty said. “It makes you not take things for granted, because I don't like sitting out. I don't like not being able to help my teammates.”

Daugherty's roller coaster of a season continued Saturday when she sustained a concussion by falling into the bleachers in Lock Haven's 66-51 win over Kutztown.

The support she has received from her teammates through it all is what brought her to Lock Haven in the first place, she said.

“I felt comfortable because of the people I was surrounded with,” Daugherty said. “You usually don't get that from most schools, but our upperclassmen support you and are good coming around you. With my team now, they stand around you.”

Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at ghorvath@tribweb.com.

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