BATTLE CREEK – For Abby Cole, the 2013 Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association Mizuno All-Star Match was the closure the incoming Michigan freshman needed to end her high school career.
After Grand Haven’s abrupt exit from the Michigan state tournament in 2012, losing in four sets to Temperance Bedford in the semifinal, Cole knew her last chance to play for Buccaneers coach Aaron Smaka was Friday at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.
“I definitely had closure for my high school volleyball career after my team lost in the state semifinal,” said Cole after Friday’s all-star match. “I was glad I got to play again and play with my coach one last time. It was awesome to play with the talent here.”
Although Cole’s East Team lost both of its game, the all-star match was a way for her to improve her game and identify her weaknesses.
“It never hurts to get on the court and play,” she said. “You’ll never get worse if you have the chance to get out and play against someone.
“I need to work on reaching for the ball. I use my height as well as I can, but I need to use it more to have an advantage.”
Overall, Cole, who reports to camp the week of Aug. 5, enjoyed her weekend in Battle Creek and knows it will prepare her for volleyball this fall.
“The talent here is definitely different,” she said. “A lot of these girls are here preparing to play college volleyball. There is definitely a lot of talent. It was very competitive, and we had a lot of fun.”
U-M fans will enjoy watching the 6-foot-5 middle hitter, as she was the 2012 runner-up for Miss Volleyball in Michigan. She has not decided on a major to study in school yet.
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