Kamryn Doty missed her true freshman season with the Elon women’s basketball team because of a torn ACL. Now, she returns eager and prepared to take on a more prominent role for the Phoenix basketball team.

Doty, now a redshirt freshman, has become a captain, starter and key contributor after her first season with the Phoenix was spent on the sidelines. Doty has helped Elon start the 2022-23 campaign with an impressive 4-2 record and, currently, a four-game win streak.

“I’ve been really comfortable. … I am really confident in myself, my abilities and my work ethic,” Doty said. “Being challenged is a good thing. … Taking on the role of being a freshman but also being a point guard and one of the captains has been very exciting.”

Head coach Charlotte Smith has witnessed firsthand Doty’s resilience and efforts to return to the court despite her previous injury. Smith said Doty had overcome the most challenging part of the process, the mental battle. 

“She’s done an extremely great job of positioning her mind to be successful and realizing that I am strong enough to come back,” Smith said. “That it’s OK to go out there and play full strength and not be concerned about being injured again. So she’s gotten over that mental hurdle.”

As a leader herself as team captain, Doty looks up to Smith and has used her guidance to come back prepared to play this season. 

“She’s one of the greatest, everything that she said I take into consideration, and I’ve always looked to her for advice, whether it’s basketball or not,” Doty said. “The biggest thing between us is trust, and I feel like if we have trust, then a lot of stuff as possible.”

The year Doty spent recovering from injury allowed her to learn from her teammates and grow into the role of a starting point guard. Smith has seen her progression and said it allows her to produce impressive work on the court. 

“Being a point guard is a huge responsibility because not only are you thinking about yourself, you’re having to think about other people,” Smith said. “I feel like she’s done a tremendous job of getting acclimated to being not only the point guard on the team, but the captain, another leader for our team, and getting our team into the flow of our offense.”

With a return to the Schar Center, Doty has also returned to practice. Doty is excited to be back with the team but said that the difference from her high school playing experience is noticeable.

“The biggest thing is pace and definitely taking care of your body considering there’s a lot of hours being put in every week,” Doty said. “Pace is definitely huge, every workout is intense, fast-paced, and there’s not a lot of time to slow down.”

Only six games into the season, Doty still has most of the season to look forward to as she joins the team fully recovered. 

Her return has been a highlight for others on the team as they have shown early success. Currently, Doty averages 6.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. 

“She’s done a good job of understanding what we’re looking for in our Phoenix offense. And that’s all we can ask of her right now at this point, and just be patient with her in regards to coming back for strength in terms of her speed,” Smith said.

Doty will return alongside her teammates for a Dec. 2 match against Howard University in Washington, D.C. The Phoenix will look to continue its win streak.