On a team that is limited in senior leadership, the loss of Malery Wahlin was a formidable setback.Wahlin, a senior setter for the Lady Indians volleyball team, is the only returning starter back from last season. Keller boasted 10 seniors on last year’s squad.When Wahlin was sidelined with tendonitis the last several games, Keller struggled. Now, with the district schedule launched, Keller will need her presence even more.Keller dropped its first district match to Timber Creek on Friday. Keller is at home this week with Fossil Ridge on Tuesday and Richland on Friday.“Losing Malery was a big hit,” head coach Sylvia Ortiz said. “We had also lost our libero for over two weeks with an ankle injury. Junior setter Lauren Crawford had also gone down with an injury.Ortiz said Keller was doing a good job and hanging with the better teams, but then injuries and illness seem to hit, one right after another.Wahlin had been in a boot to help heal her sore ankle and was back on the court last week.“It was getting pretty bad from playing in all the tournaments,” Wahlin said of her ankle. “I got some rest and I’m ready to go again.”Now, Keller will have the on-court leadership and power they’ve had to do without. “They definitely they look to me as on an on-the-floor captain,” Wahlin said. “But I like having them look to me. I now have a sister on team and I hate when they look lost. I just help everyone out and give directions,” she said.The time without Wahlin on the court may prove beneficial down the stretch. “With her out, the other girls have stepped up and were taking the lead,” Ortiz said. “It may have helped the others step up and we’d have a person of the day, who would lead warm ups and have total control. The girls are of different age groups, which is new this year, and we’d even have freshmen step up.”Now, with Wahlin back on the court, Keller is poised to ramp up their play again.“We were struggling a little bit,” Wahlin said. “We weren’t finishing teams out and can’t pull out a win at end.“We’re definitely ready,” Wahlin continued. “We can hang with all the teams in the district and I’m excited to get back out there again. It’s been over a month.” Friday showed that it may take a little rust-remover and re-synchronizing to get back on track.Wahlin said Keller’s slow start may have others overlooking the Lady Indians.“I think we can do really well in district,” Wahlin said. “We’ll have to pass well and step up. We need to all have that fight in us to win, especially with younger girls. The key is to put more balls away and continue to be a good serving team with good hitters. We’re fully capable.”Wahlin has committed to play at Brigham Young.