Following an eight-match losing streak, St. Olaf volleyball has rebounded with two consecutive wins thanks to a resurgent defensive effort by Abby Slack ’17. Slack is fifth in the conference with 364 digs and now has 1,859 total in her career, surpassing Alyssa Williams ’10 on Oct. 8 against North Central to achieve the second most career digs ever recorded at St. Olaf.
Q: What led you to become a defensive specialist?
A: Being 5’6’’, my options were slightly limited when I started playing volleyball at age 13. However, regardless of my height, I would still choose to be a defensive specialist. In my biased opinion, it is the most fun position on the court. I love digging a hard hit ball and picking up setter dumps. Defense is denying the other team a point and setting our hitters up to put the ball down on their side of the net. The point starts with a pass, and I love watching our hitters execute off of a perfect pass.
Q: How has St. Olaf volleyball impacted you as a person off the court? What does it mean to now have made history with the Oles?
A: I’ve learned what it means to fail and to succeed. I’ve learned how to come back stronger and more determined than ever after a loss or disappointment. If St. Olaf volleyball has taught me anything, it’s what it means to never give up. Good things come when you work hard, stay disciplined and remember why you’re fighting. We show up every day at practice because we love the game and love competing alongside each other. I would not have the second most career digs ever recorded by an Ole without the rest of my team beside me. As a defensive specialist, I would be nothing without the block in front of me and the other defenders beside me.
Q: What’s the highlight of your four years with St. Olaf volleyball?
A: Freshman year, the older girls embraced me with open arms, welcoming me into the family and supporting me as I found my unique role on the team. I’ve loved watching my teammates grow in their individual skills, and together as a team. We’ve come so far since my freshman year, and I’m lucky to be a part of such an incredible family.