First-year libero Abby Wadas has already made an impact on USF’s volleyball team. On Oct. 31, she was awarded the West Coast Conference’s defensive player of the week following her stellar performances against Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University. She played a pivotal role in both games, recording 13 digs and three aces against LMU, and 19 digs and eight assists against Pepperdine. Although this was her first defensive player of the week award, Wadas has showcased her skills all season long, averaging 3.78 digs per set with 363 total, third best in the conference in both categories.
Originally from McKinney, a suburb outside of Dallas, Wadas had to adjust to her new team and city. “Obviously it’s never easy but the coaches have made me feel extremely confident,” she said. “All the girls made me feel really comfortable to just step up and take that role even as a freshman.” Wadas also mentioned that she is no stranger to high-level competition. She has been competing against Division 1 caliber athletes since she was 14 years old.
Even with the experience, the change has been a lot for Wadas. “Going from high school to college, the level of volleyball is very different,” she said. “So I want to learn how to adjust to that and be able to take not only the physical stress but the mental stress of it all.”
Wadas said that there is a risk of being treated differently as a first-year when you’re entering a new program, but that she never felt left out in the Dons volleyball locker room. “The team is amazing. It’s genuinely the nicest group of girls I’ve ever played with. We are all like best friends,” she said. “It was really nice going so far away for college and coming into a program with built in friends, a built in support system.” Surrounded by such a supportive group, Wadas said she has been able to deal with the stress of going away for college and performing exceptionally well.
Wadas is dedicated to the team’s four core values of hard work, consistency, discipline, and team first. “You do everything to make your teammates shine,” she said. “I don’t pass a good ball for myself to look good, I pass a good ball so that my setter can set a good ball.”
Wadas also attributes her success to her dad, her biggest inspiration. “I get my athleticism, my competitiveness and all of it from him,” she said. She said that her father always pushed her to be the best she can be, supporting her every step of the way. “He saw my potential and he wanted me to go get it.” When she’s putting in the hard work on the court, Wadas has her father in mind. “I do it all thinking about him and making him proud.”
Aside from sports, Wadas hopes to pursue a career as veterinarian. She is also looking forward to having some free time next semester to explore the city she will call home for the next four years, she said.