Shakopee HS volleyball team raises money for teen injured while riding horse

Volleyball parents at Shakopee High School are rallying the community together to help support a 15-year-old player who was injured in a horseback riding accident.

Shakopee sophomores kicked off their season Tuesday night against the Chanhassen Storm, but one of their teammates was noticeably missing from the court. 

"Life can change at any point in time. You go from tryouts to laying in a hospital bed and that's just … mind-blowing," said Kylene Webster, a member of the Shakopee High School Volleyball Booster Club.

Booster club parents said that's been a difficult lesson for their teenagers to learn, knowing their friend, 15-year-old Sierra Monahan, is at Hennepin County Medical Center.

"When you know that your friends are sad when your friends are worried and your friends are not sleeping very well at night because of something like this, it absolutely affects everybody," said the varsity head coach Matt Busch.

On Aug. 20, Sierra was riding one of her horses at home when abruptly he flipped over backward on top of her, causing life-threatening internal injuries. She's currently on a ventilator and has extensive internal injuries.

Sierra’s mom, Farah Pieper, said she started riding horses when she was 8 years old. Sierra had already been having a difficult week because her beloved horse, Triggs, had to be put down three days prior to Sierra’s accident.

"She's got a really long road ahead of her: a lot of medical bills, a lot of really extensive surgeries. And she's already a miracle, a true blessing in being able to survive what she's survived so far," Webster said.

With the medical bills in mind, the booster club quickly decided to pivot its annual cancer event in October to "Serve for Sierra," an effort to raise money for her recovery. Donations are already pouring in, which is a testament to how much her family means to the Shakopee volleyball community.

"It's just really important I think for players, even others in the high school to show ... That it isn't just about sports in their life," said Kay Strand, the secretary of the Shakopee High School Volleyball Booster Club.

"Serve for Sierra" night is scheduled for Oct. 4 at Shakopee High School against Eastview Lightning. The booster club is selling t-shirts and asking for donations for the raffle. A hundred percent of the proceeds will go toward Sierra’s recovery.

The family also has a GoFundMe set up.