Mount de Sales Academy just started a volleyball program this year. They quickly spiked to a perfect 16-0 record. Abigail McKowen is a big part of their success. The transplant from up north is also setting herself up nicely in the classroom. Those two talents make her our 'Athlete of the Week.'
In their first year on the court, the Mount de Sales Cavaliers have proven they're a team to contend with. Head coach B.J. Dunwody says senior Abigail McKowen is their setter, and since volleyball's new in these parts, think of her as the quarterback of the squad.
"They have to run the plays that score the points, and Abby is an assist leader on our team, of course. She averages 40 assists a game which is unheard of," Dunwody explained.
"Being the setter, you run the offense, you have to know what setters are on, who to set it to, and you have to know where to put the set so they can get the best possible hit," Abigail said.
Juggling all of that in her head is no problem.
Abigail's never made a "C" in high school. Her transcript sports an overall 3.8 grade point average. She says her folks have always stressed performance with the books, but not in the way that you might think.
"My parents have always taught me not to get good grades, but to try my hardest. That's going to take me far so as long as I was trying my hardest," she said.
Those family ties also stretch onto the court.
Abbie's mom and aunt played volleyball. But the McKowen's moved to the Peach State five years ago. The Cavs didn't have a team, so Abbie played basketball and hit the road for the sport she really loves.
"There was a club team in Warner Robins, so we would have to drive 45 minutes to get to the base or the Warner Robins Recreation Center to play on the club team," Abigail said.
She still plays travel ball and has a good shot of playing somewhere on the next level, but for now, she'll lead the Cavaliers and try to protect that perfect inaugural season.
"Abby's incredibly focused in everything she does and is meticulous and thought-out," Dunwody added. She has such an inclination for the game. Watching her is just joyful."
Abbie says she would like to go to college up north, possibly in Chicago. She says she's leaning towards majoring in journalism or maybe education. The Cavs play again this Saturday. Varsity hits the court at 2 p.m. at Mount de Sales.