Lewis University volleyballer emerges as one of nation's top setters
Lewis University women's volleyball player Abby Becker's change in positions came about because of an injury.
Not hers, though.
Becker told the Will County Gazette that she had been a right-side hitter for most of her early volleyball career, but in her 14th year, the setter for her club team suffered a broken foot.
“So then my coach was like, Abby, you're left-handed, you're 6-feet tall, I'm going to make you into a setter, so I kind of rather, like, got placed into it,” Becker said.
From there, eventually, came accolades and achievements for her at that spot, culminating in being the starting setter for the Lewis team that has been ranked in the NCAA Division II top 25 all season this year. Becker, a sophomore from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, has been ranked in individual statistical categories.
Becker said she got into the sport as the family cheered on her sister, who played for a club team. Her parents made her go to every single tournament, so there was a lot of time spent in gyms.
“I'd be the kid, like, on the side playing with the ball on the wall and stuff like that, so I guess just, like, doing all that stuff got me into it,” Becker said.
She got more into the sport in high school, as she began playing for club teams herself. According to LewisFlyers.com, she played with the Milwaukee Sting Gold from 2011-13, during which time the team claimed three top-five finishes in the open division of the AAU National Tournament. In 2014, while playing with the West Bend Power 18's, she earned All-American, as well as All-Tournament honors.
Becker also shined at Menomonee Falls High School. She was a four-time letter winner, and three times, she earned All-State honors – honorable mention as a sophomore, second team as a junior and first team as a senior -- when she keyed Menomonee Falls to the state title. Her 18th year was when she played setter full-time, she said.
However, Becker's senior year of club volleyball – and her arrival at Lewis – almost didn't happen. She said that at that time, she didn't know whether she wanted to play volleyball anymore, but her parents convinced her to give club ball one more try. During that season, Lewis coach Lorelee Smith saw her play, got in touch with Becker's coach about talking with Becker, and the rest is history.
“Everything just happened form there, and I went on a visit, and I just loved it,” Becker said.
Becker took a redshirt year her first season at Lewis, making 2015 her first season on the floor for the Flyers. There were challenges, but having a head coach who also played setter in college was a big help.
“It was pretty hard to transition from thinking like a high school setter to going to college and stuff, and Lorelee did an awesome job of, like, helping me become mentally tough and all that stuff.”
Last season, Becker had 673 assists in 36 matches, including 35 against Rockhurst in the regional semifinals of the national tournament, according to LewisFlyers.com.