According to Head Volleyball Coach Melissa Massey, its no understatement to call senior Abby Braswell the rock of the team.
“Abby is pretty much our steady player every single game, involved in every single play as our only setter. Being a senior she takes on a leadership role and has done a bang up, consistent job for us all year. We look to her all the time to pick us up,” Massey said.
Braswell, who last weekend was awarded All Tournament Honors at the Metro East Classic, has set herself apart from the rest of her team through her attitude and constant drive.
“What sets Abby apart from a lot of volleyball players I’ve seen is that she is always in a good mood, even in practice, picking her teammates up. She knows that when she’s passed out on the floor, the others feed off of that and not in a good way. So not only does she carry a big load being our only setter, she also has to emotionally be on her game all of the time because the girls are feeding off of her,” Massey explained.
During the Metro East Classic, the competition got very difficult for the Panthers, who had to play top flight schools such as Gibault Catholic, Cor Jesu Academy, and Ursuline Academy. Massey said Braswell kept her cool and kept the team focused.
“Despite the day being long, Abby is such a level headed tone on our team and its just so refreshing to see and have on our side. Today was so draining. She was physically drained because she is involved in every single play and if another player is struggling, its her job to chase a ball down. No one else is doing that. So not only does she have to stay physically in the game, but also emotionally. Abby does a really good job carrying that load,” Massey said.
Braswell, who has played volleyball her whole time at OTHS and joined the Varsity team in her sophomore year, really has blossomed into the leader.
“She’s been with me three years. Her biggest thing has been leadership, becoming a mature athlete and understanding how to deal with pressure. She takes a lot of pressure playing for a school like O’Fallon and getting into these matches. We do not have an easy schedule. I feel like she has risen to the occasion and can handle high pressure situations.”
Massey said Braswell not only is doing well on the volleyball floor, but also in the classroom.
“She’s committed. She’s committed not only on the volleyball floor but in the classroom. She’s got really great grades. I’ve seen a big level of maturity in her not just as an athlete but as a person too.”
Braswell is still trying to decide where to go after OTHS.
“Abby is still trying to narrow it down. Missouri Baptist has made an offer and so has Cumberland University in Tennessee. I actually get coaches reaching out to me daily and she’s just trying to figure out what she wants to do. Does she want to stay local or go away? She’s definitely going to pursue volleyball in college,” Massey said.
Wherever she goes, Massey said they will be picking up a fantastic teammate.
“The rest of the team just loves Abby. She’s one of those kids that is really likable. She is friends with everyone on the team. She is very respectful and is very coachable. She listens to everything we say to her and tries to fix what we say to fix. It’s just so refreshing to have a player that is so instrumental to your team and have them stay so humble and honestly understand her role on the floor and be a good teammate. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”