PREP VOLLEYBALL: ‘Be a good teammate’: Fairview’s Abby McDonald recaps junior season

Fairview’s Abby McDonald. (Courtesy of Abby McDonald)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. – In this interview, I talked to Fairview volleyball player Abby McDonald about her junior season and there were a lot of positives that she took away from that experience playing with a great group of teammates.

“I feel like last year was a growing season for us as a team. We had only one senior and the majority of the players were juniors. We had times that were very good and times that we had to learn from and develop. We did gain a lot of experience on the varsity level and developed more chemistry as the year progressed. Coach Katie Ball is a great coach, and I couldn’t ask for a better team. We have a very tough area, but with hard work and the unity our team has, I have no doubt that we will make it to Regionals,” McDonald said. “We have nine seniors this year. We have all grown up together; we’ve played together since middle school. We work well together and support one another. We are always driving to be better players and teammates.”

Abby has learned so much during her time on varsity so far and is so blessed to be playing for coach Ball.

“I have learned that being on varsity can help you develop a wide array of skills that are not only valuable in the sport, but in many other areas of life as well, such as communication, strategy, resilience, and time management skills,” McDonald said. “I believe that she relates well to all of us. She never really gets too high or too low. She is consistent, whether it’s in practice or games. She was also a college athlete, so she understands what is needed on a daily basis for us to improve as individuals and as a team. We definitely progressed as a team last season. I look forward to seeing how we can continue to improve throughout this summer and once the season gets underway.”

Abby got to play alongside a great senior in Jaycee Aleman and was impressed by how she split her time in three different sports.

“We always looked up to Jaycee for leadership and experience. She was a big part of our improvement as a team. Hopefully, our senior class can continue the progress that she helped us achieve. I know we are all excited to hit the summer workouts, practices, and play dates. We are trying to get better as a team every day,” she said. “She was as good of an athlete that we have had. She has always been a three-sport athlete. That takes a ton of time and dedication, year-round. The way she could split her time with all three seasons was always impressive.”

Abby has seen a lot of improvement during her time on varsity so far and will continue to work on her game even more to get ready for next season.

“I definitely feel like I see the court better and have gotten better at anticipating where the ball may go. I do a much better job at reading off the blockers, which tells me where I need to be on defense. I try to get a read on certain hitters and find a pattern by reading their arm swing. I also feel like our weight program has helped all of us develop physically to a point above what we would have been,” she said. “My main focus is improving my defensive platform as well as my communication.”

Abby talks about her goals for next season, what will make this team special to watch, her role models growing up, and the best advice that someone ever gave her.

“My individual goals are to do my job at a high level and be a good teammate. Our team goals are to win county, area, make it out of Regionals, and go to state,” she said. “We have nine seniors this year. Hopefully, our chemistry, athleticism, and attitude will help us be successful this year. My role models growing up were Jorden Lawson, Nicole Davis, and Annie Drews. The best advice that I have received is, ‘You should never have an expectation of success; that exceeds your work ethic and preparation.'”

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