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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Bump, set (1,000) spikes

By Alex Dupille

 

History has been made. 

As Western women’s volleyball was on its way to a 3-1 win over the University of Alaska Anchorage on Nov. 2, at  WECU Court, junior outside hitter Abby Phelps recorded her 1,000th kill.

In the pivotal fourth set, Phelps achieved the record and was showered with applause from the fans and her teammates.

This achievement put her into elite company in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference as the 14th player ever to join the 1,000 kill and 1,000 dig club. Phelps is also only the fourth Western volleyball player to join the club.

“It was honestly surreal when it happened, because I didn’t really know that was on the horizon,” Phelps said. “It was pretty remarkable and I just felt really overwhelmed by the amount of support.”

Phelps celebrates with her teammates after scoring a point. The Vikings are on a 16-match winning streak, tied for the fifth-longest in program history. // Photo by Katie Webber

Phelps credits her success on the court to her supportive teammates.

“Even though I was individually awarded, that was such a team award,” Phelps said “It takes three contacts to get a kill. It takes a pass and set. I have amazing blockers in front of me that make defense easy. I really believe this is, 100 percent, a team award.”

Phelps’ teammate, senior Arielle Turner, said she was ecstatic to see history being made right before her eyes.

“I can’t even express the words how happy I am for her,” Turner said. “She’s just a hard worker, and every single day she comes in and gets better and makes her teammates better. So, for her to get that [milestone] is just so awesome.”

Phelps’ team has noticed her tremendous growth on the court throughout her time playing for the Vikings.

“She has grown immensely; I think her biggest thing is her mental game has grown leaps and bounds,” senior setter Kristina Tribley said. “She’s incredibly athletic, everyone can see that, but I think to reach these goals, 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs, that to me is totally arbitrary to who she is everyday, and her consistency to not only support herself but help others out.”

Despite Phelps’ accomplishment, she said she’s not going to let herself get complacent.

“When I try and look too far ahead I tend to get overwhelmed or overthink things, so I definitely stay in the moment,” Phelps said. “I mean, it’s my junior year so I don’t have very much longer [at Western] sadly. So, I’m just trying to really enjoy every single moment that I have here because what we have here is special.” Phelps said.

The next chance to watch Abby Phelps and the Viking volleyball team is 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, at Carver Gym where they take on Northwest Nazarene.

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