Wooton, Dillon and Mower.
While that may sound like a local law firm, it is actually a collections of Abbys who play volleyball at Woodrow Wilson.
It is a trio that came together at just the right time to fill important gaps left by the graduation of five seniors from last year’s team.
Senior Abby Wooton, freshman Abby Dillon and sophomore Abby Mower have all been key factors this season in the Flying Eagles return to the state volleyball tournament.
Wooton holds down the libero position and has provide great leadership from the back row.
“I put her in the libero position because we needed her there. She grew so much during travel ball in that position,” Woodrow Wilson head coach Bre Rhodes said. “Over the summer when we could practice, I saw the growth and I saw the leadership she provided from the back row. She talks and I need her back there.”
While admitting that the libero position doesn’t bring a lot of glory, Wooton understands the importance of her position and is happy with her role.
“The hits and kills are what gets most of the cheers when they finish, but a good pass will make or break everything,” Wooton said. “If you get a good pass and a good set, then you can get the ball on the ground. It is a good feeling when you see the hitters get the ball down. It makes me feel just as good as if I was the one hitting.”
Dillon is the second leg on those explosive kills and she had the tall task of replacing two experienced setters lost to graduation last year. Dillon has played way above her age handing out over 1,100 assists this year.
“She came in and filled some big shoes that I needed filled. I was down two setters,” Rhodes said. “She is just phenomenal. I couldn’t ask her to do any better. She has played defense to her best ability. She has set and played front row. Her knowledge of the game is more mature than a normal freshman.”
While Dillon plays above her age, she still plays the game with the joy of a young kid.
“It has been crazy. In middle school it was a much slower game,” Dillon said. “High school is much faster. I love the girls on our team, so it hasn’t been hard to step in as a freshman.”
Wooton and Dillon both gained valuable experience this past summer as members of the highly successful Club Attack 18U AAU team. Club Attack 18U won the Sapphire Bracket at the 18-U national tournament in Orlando.
“It helped me a lot. I was playing with a really good group of girls and a really good coach. I learned a lot,” Wooton said. “There was a good bit of seeing and adjusting to what you are given.”
“It was an eye opener and a preview of what high school was going to be like,” Dillon said. “It was a really good experience. I played back row and it was faster than anything I had ever seen.”
Sophomore Abby Mower is a first year player for Rhodes after transferring to Woodrow Wilson from Pennsylvania.
“She came in with some knowledge and played all the way around in Pittsburgh. Her club team went to Nationals, so she has extra experience,” Rhodes said.
“I used to live here until I was around four, then I went up to Pennsylvania. I came back this past summer,” Mower explained. “It’s definitely a complete 180 from my old school. This team has been more of a family than any team I have ever been on in the past. I have been playing for like six years. At my old school it was about playing and winning. Here we work on who we are as a whole. We make bonds in and out of school.”
Mower has been used on the back row this year and has baffled teams from the service line. She has also been a key defender for the Flying Eagles.
“She came in without a guaranteed spot and did what she needed to do in practice to gain her spot. She has become a great teammate,” Rhodes said. “When she was on the bench she was telling the girls what was open and where someone hits. That is crucial from a sophomore that didn’t know the girls on the team very well at first.”
Mower’s serving ability rallied Woodrow from a six-point deficit in set two against Capital before giving George Washington fits in the regional final.
“That was awesome because I was super nervous at first. I didn’t want to let anyone down, but everyone is here to lift you up and compliment you no matter what happens,” Mower said.
The three Abby’s and their teammates will open state tournament play Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. against George Washington at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.