GH's Abby Cole commits to Michigan for volleyball

A family vacation to Montana will force Abby Cole to miss tryouts for the Grand Haven varsity volleyball team this week. The 6-foot-, 5-inch all-stater shouldn't have much to worry about when it comes to her high school team, especially considering she's already earned a spot on a college roster. Cole turned down offers from several of the nation's top programs, including Penn State, which has won the past four NCAA national championships, and committed to the University of Michigan earlier this month.
Matt DeYoung
Aug 11, 2011

 

A week-long visit Ann Arbor in July convinced Cole that Michigan was the right fit for her.

“I went to a camp at the end of July and really liked it,” said Cole, who will be a junior at Grand Haven this fall. “After the camp, my family came down to pick me up and they got to see the campus. Some of my family hadn’t seen it, and they really liked it, which means a lot to me.”

Part of the campus tour included a visit with Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.

“It was a fun experience,” Cole said. “It’s very family-oriented, which is important to me.”

Cole left the campus knowing she was going to commit to the Wolverines, but it took her a while to build up the nerve.

“I was just scared. I wasn’t ready,” said Cole, who had also visited Michigan State and Notre Dame and had plans to visit her other top two schools, Penn State and Florida. “I knew I was going to commit, but I just didn’t want to say it. It’s a serious thing for a 15-year-old to go through. But the camp really sealed it for me.

After that, I knew I was going to Michigan.”

Cole earned third-team all-state honors as a sophomore at Grand Haven last fall, averaging 1.6 blocks and 3.4 kills per game. Her recruitment heated up this summer as she played on the Michigan Volleyball Academy (MVA) club team, which competed at a very high level, including the national championships in Orlando, where the team placed ninth.

“We had good chemistry,” Cole said. “We went into nationals and we were supposed to be 73rd and we ended up ninth. We could have gone farther, but one of our best players got a concussion on the first point of our most important game. We still did great. I played pretty well. I got a lot better during the club season, for sure.”

Cole noted that committing before her junior season is typical for top-flight volleyball recruits.

“I’m actually one of the last ones in my class to commit to a Big 10 school, which is surprising because I still have two years of high school left,” she said.
Cole is also an outstanding basketball player and received some recruiting interest from another U-M coach, women’s basketball head man Kevin Borseth. Cole helped the Buccaneers’ cagers go 26-1 last winter, reaching the Class A semifinals.

 

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