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Abelli Likes New Attitude Inside ECSU Volleyball
The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team had a frustrating experience last year. A coaching change mid-way through the season caused instability for players.
Junior libero Taylor Abelli, a 2008 Cheshire High School graduate, feels a different vibe just four matches into this season. The Warriors have a new head coach, Fran Vandermeer, and optimism from a 3-1 record inside their Geissler Gym.
“It's really been awesome,” said Abelli, a three-year starter. “Our motto is bounce back. We don't look at the past and just move forward. She (Vandermeer) has a lot of knowledge. It's been great having someone direct us and you just go with it.”
Since dropping their opener (3-1) to Roger Williams University, ECSU has been dominant. They've won nine of 10 games during the last three matches.
“I feel like everyday we are improving,” Abelli reflected. “Our offense and defense are all new. If we keep improving, I can't see why we can't win more games.”
Abelli is instrumental to the team's success. She posted 29 digs on Sept. 4, making 37 receptions with only one error. ECSU defeated Salve Regina University (3-1) and Babson College (3-0).
“That is awesome,” stated Abelli, of holding a .935 receive percentage. “If I can benefit the team, it's great. All the little things add up.”
Three days later, she fired four aces from the service line and added 10 digs in a 3-0 sweep of Clark University. Abelli enjoys the freedom of playing libero.
“I like it because I'm always in the action,” explained Abelli. “I get to see more of the game and play with different girls.”
The Warriors graduated just one player from last season. While the composition is similar, a change in philosophy has united them.
“We weren't working as a team last year,” recalled Abelli. “There is six players on the court, but it is one team instead of six individuals.”
Their play has energized the fan base.
“It was nice because we didn't have success last year,” said Abelli, of playing well at home. “It gives us an extra boost of confidence going into an away tournament (Endicott Invitational; Sept. 10-11) this weekend.”