Volleyball senior Abby Thelen was named to the All-Big East First Team for the second consecutive year last week. While the honor shows what Thelen has meant to Seton Hall, it is only a small part of her impact on the program.
Thelen is one of only six players in Seton Hall history with over 1,300 career kills, while also ranking fifth in school history in attacks with more than 3,500. On the defensive end, she made her impact by reaching the 200 career block marker as well as adding just under 400 digs.
“I am very happy with the accolades I have received here as a Pirate. I cannot thank my coaches and team enough for constantly pushing me on and off the court to be the best athlete and person I can be,” Thelen said.
She has been a leading force on and off the court, and the clear focal point for Seton Hall volleyball. Her efforts put her 12 kills short of fifth all time on the Seton Hall leaderboard, an ending that she marks as one of her only regrets.
However, her career was made of much more than her accolades. The relationships that Thelen made with her teammates is held just as closely to her as any achievement on the court.
“The memories and friendships I have made here are something I will truly cherish,” Thelen said. “We always talk about how it is crazy that we went almost 18 years of our lives without knowing each other and now we can’t imagine our lives without one another in it.”
Playing their final game by the side of Thelen was four fellow seniors Sofia Coffey, Miranda Higginbothom Caitlin Koska and Cherise Hennigan. The four seniors, all four-year players of the Pirates, leave their college years in the history book for Seton Hall Volleyball. Sophia Coffey played a pivotal role in her four years as the centerpiece of the Pirates, finishing the Pirates final game of the year on a high note by reaching the 1,000 dig milestone in a 3-0 sweep of DePaul.
A piece of the game that seniors will not soon forget are the packed Saturday night games in Walsh, playing with her closest friends. However, the lessons that Thelen have learned learned go far beyond those nights.
“I have learned so much about not only volleyball, but life skills from Coach Yaeger,” she said. And that is something I will definitely be taking with me into the real world.”
Keith Egan can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @keith_egan10.