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Hendrik Mol igjen klar for Hawaii

Mye nytt å lære som midtblokker

Hendrik i midtangrep

Som mange volleyballinteresserte vet, fikk Hendrik Nikolai Mol i april i fjor en infeksjon på sitt venstre øye, noe som satte ham ut av spill i lengre tid. Hendrik selv tror infeksjonen skyldtes en gammel linse. Uansett førte den til at han nå bare har 5-10 prosent syn på øyet. Rett fram er han helt blind, til siden ser han bra. Hendrik er nå for fullt tilbake på volleyballbanen, men skaden har ført til at treneren hans på Hawaii delvis har omskolert ham til midtspiller.

Så med rosa beskyttelsesbriller er han nå i gang med den siste oppkjøringen før universitetsserien starter. I gårsdagens treningskamp mot Harvard hadde han blant annet fire blokkpoeng og to ess.

Vi har sakset artikkelen nedenfor fra Star Advertiser, den er skrevet av Stephen Tsai.

Even with one good eye Hendrik Mol is looking forward!

What were the odds? One in 700,000? Maybe more?

“It was almost like being struck by lightning,” University of Hawaii volleyball player Hendrik Mol said of an infection that “destroyed” vision in his left eye.

Mol has made a remarkable adjustment from the ailment, earning a middle blocker’s job entering Thursday’s season opener against King University in the Outrigger Resort Invitational.

UH coach Charlie Wade said he thought Mol faced a “medical retirement” after suffering the eye infection last April. Mol said he believes the infection could be traced to an old contact-lens case he was using.

The condition worsened quickly, forcing Mol to undergo aggressive, non-surgical treatment at the UCLA Medical Center. Because of the eye’s sensitivity to light, he wore a patch for two weeks. But the treatment and the patch did not alleviate the excruciating pain.

“There are 500 times as many nerves in the eye than in your skin, for example,” Mol said. “The bacteria was eating the cornea.”

The damage was contained to the eye’s center. He said he has between 5 percent and 10 percent vision in his left eye.

“If (the doctors) had to go in and surgically fix the eye, they were never going to clear him, and then he can’t play (again),” Wade recalled.

Although the ailment did not require surgery, the emotional wound was slower to heal.

“I was depressed for a while, as long as I could be,” Mol said.

Mol said he retained peripheral vision in his left eye, enough to allow him to consider resuming his beach- volleyball activities. “In the middle of the eye, I can’t see anything,” he said. “On the sides, I can see quite well.”

He was cleared to play in June.

During the Warriors’ fall training, Mol, a natural pin hitter, took turns in the middle. It was a three-fold experiment: 1) The Warriors had lost both 2015 middles to graduation, 2) Stijn van Tilburg emerged as a go-to hitter at opposite, and 3) it would ease Mol’s workload.

“I never played middle before,” said Mol, a junior from Norway. “It’s kind of stressful. You have to be everywhere at all times.”

Wade said Mol’s lateral footwork has improved, as well as his ability to time moves based on the quality of passes, and identify the tendencies of the setter and attacker.

“He’s worked hard and bought into it,” Wade said.

In Monday’s exhibition against SportConX, Mol played the first two sets in the middle and the final two at opposite.

“You can never have too many good volleyball players, and he’s a good volleyball player,” Wade said.

Last year, Mol said, he suffered a fracture in his wrist, a broken finger and “I destroyed my eye completely.” He now wears protective goggles, which might be rose-colored.

“You always have to look forward,” Mol said of his eye condition. “You have to face adversity at some point. Once it was over, it was over for my part. I tried to see what I could do with it.”

Mol also said his “priorities have shifted from being mostly centered on volleyball.” He changed his major, from civil engineering to physics. His goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree in physics and pursue a master’s in civil engineering. He also has found levity in his situation, musing that despite not wearing a patch, the pirate’s life might be for him.

“I should get a hook, too,” he said, smiling.

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