Kathleen Doyle aims to return to action Wednesday

The Fever rookie sat out Saturday's season opener with a sprained ankle

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Indiana Fever rookie Kathleen Doyle. Photo Credit: Indiana Fever Twitter Page.

Indiana Fever rookie Kathleen Doyle did not enjoy having to sit out her team’s season opener against Washington on Saturday.

“It’s obviously disappointing. Getting to see all the other rookies play in the first game was difficult, but I’m just excited to get healthy again and be ready to go and try to help us win games,” said Doyle on Monday. “But yeah… just the competitor in me definitely was disappointed.”

Doyle was absent from the Fever’s 101-76 loss to the Mystics after rolling her ankle in practice last week. She says she’s taking the injury one day at a time and hopes to be ready for the team’s game on Wednesday night against Phoenix. “Nothing crazy,” she said when asked about the severity of the sprain.

Indiana certainly could’ve used Doyle during its setback last weekend, as the team was also without Lauren Cox and Erica Wheeler due to COVID-19 symptoms.

“We’re excited to get [Doyle] back on the court,” said Assistant Coach April Schilling on Monday.“You know we’re missing three of our top eight, we’ll be happy if any and all of ‘em come, it’ll be like Christmas! It’ll be very, very welcomed I think for everyone… once we get everyone up and running, it’ll be exciting to have a little bit of depth.”

Indiana struggled mightily on the defensive end for a large majority of the game. They surrendered 92 points through three quarters, trailed by as much as 37, and allowed a career-high 27 points to Washington’s Myisha Hines-Allen.

“I think Coach Stanley said it perfectly after the game, obviously it didn’t go how we wanted it to but there were a lot of things that we can fix,” said Doyle. “…It’d be a little bit more worrisome if it was things that we really didn’t have control over but since we do, we can make those adjustments… we’re all committed to getting better on that end and they’re all areas that we can fix, so looking forward to working those out.”

Without Wheeler or Doyle, Stanley turned to Belgian rookie Julie Allemand to fill the void at the starting point guard. Doyle said that she enjoyed watching Allemand, one of three first-year players on the Fever despite being drafted in 2016, run the team.

“I was excited for [Allemand] to play in her first WNBA game and cheer her on,” Doyle said. “You can see she can knock it down and get people the ball… I know that she was nervous before the game, like any rookie would be, but I think she’s going to be great for us and she did well.”

Doyle’s alma mater, the University of Iowa, selected her as the school’s nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year — awarded to a student-athlete who excelled academically, athletically, and in community service — on July 13. The LaGrange, Illinois native finished her time as a Hawkeye ranked second all-time in assists (706) and 13th in scoring (1,537). She was also named the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Player of the Year for the 2019-20 season. The NCAA will select a winner in August.

“I loved my four years at Iowa,” said Doyle. “I just thank anybody who had a part in nominating me to be Iowa’s nominee, because I know so many phenomenal female athletes at the university… I just want to give all the credit to the other female athletes who are just as deserving as I am at Iowa.”