WESTBROOK - Age is just a number for Westbrook-Walnut Grove volleyball player Abby Herding, who has accomplished a feat that most setters only dream of.
On Sept. 12, the sophomore entered her high school gym in pursuit of her 1,000th set-assist. She was just 15 shy from the milestone.
"There were posters all around the gym," Herding said.
Westbrook-Walnut Grove setter Abby Herding
As Herding tallied up the assists the countdown began.
"Fans would come and check with us to see if it was an assist," said head coach Cathy Baumann. "Then they were ripping off the numbers."
In the second set after Herding got her 999th set assist, teammate Dayna Comnick asked to help her make history. "She told me that she wanted it, so I gave it to her," Herding said, "and she got a kill off of it."
Celebration broke out in the WWG gym.
"I was kind of embarrassed because there were so many cameras," Herding said, "but I was really happy and I was glad that my teammates helped me to get it."
Baumann applauded Herdin's reaction.
"She gets a little embarrassed yet from the attention but it's nice to see that, too," Baumann said. "She is humble."
"It's crazy since I am so young, but I could never have done it without my teammates," Herding said of her accomplishment.
Herding is hoping to return that favor to Comnick, who is 103 away from 1,000 kills for her varsity career.
With two more years of varsity volleyball ahead of her, Herding hopes to reach the 2,000-set-assist mark. "I am going to try," she said. "I am going to play my best and hope I can get it."
But Herding admits that her sights are more set on her team than her personal goals.
"I want to win with my team," said Herding.
The Chargers are eager to advance past the first round of sub-sections after falling short in a 3-1 loss to Red Rock Central in 2012. This is especially important to Herding with five seniors playing in their final year with the Chargers.
"These are the girls I have been playing with since I was really young," she said. "I am going to be saying goodbye to these girls and it will be hard."
Despite being only a sophomore, Herding has no hesitation in stepping up for her team.
"I am a young player, but I still try to be a team leader out on the court," Herding said. "Even though there are five seniors I try to lead the team, too."
Herding has been floor captain for the Chargers for the past two seasons.
"She is very smart when it comes to the court," Baumann said. "She is really mature for her age; sometimes I forget how young she really is."
Herding has never let her age inhibit her abilities or passion for the game of volleyball. Baumann was coaching the junior high team when Herding was in grade school.
"She was on the court every day with us," Baumann said of Herding. "And she just wanted to be at every single game; she would do stats for us, and even though she was a couple years behind them she was always there."
With two more years left to play Herding is optimistic of her team's future success.
"I am looking forward to playing with my friends from my grade," Herding said. "There are some really good players coming up, so I am excited to see what the upcoming years are going to bring."
ABBY HERDING, WWG
- Sport: Volleyball
- Year/Position: Sophomore/setter
- Other Sports: Basketball, golf
- Most Thrilling Sports Moment: Her 1,000th set assist
- Favorite Athlete: Destinee Hooker
- Favorite Subject: Math
- Favorite Movie: Dirty Dancing
- Favorite Team: Nebraska Cornhuskers
- Favorite Hobby: Vacationing
- Favorite Musician: Steven Tyler
- If I Could Visit Any Place, It Would Be: Barcelona, Spain
- Something I Am Afraid Of: Cats
- Plans After High School: Attend college