Abby Wesselmann is continuing her athletic career by becoming a Bearcat.
Wesselmann, who just finished her sophomore year at Rend Lake College, recently signed her letter of intent to play beach volleyball for McKendree University.
“I am so excited to keep my athletic career going,” Wesselman said. “It was always my plan to continue my academics going I just wasn’t sure where that was going to happen.”
Wesselmann was a top-performing defense specialist for the Warriors during her time at Rend Lake. She particularly shined during her sophomore year, placing seventh in the nation in digs per set (6.16) and eighth in total digs with 715. She was also selected for the NJCAA All-Region 24 Second Team.
Warriors Head Coach Reggie Bateman said Wesselmann has been a key player throughout her time at RLC. The team had one of its most successful years in recent memory, going 19-12 and 8-6 in conference play. It was the first winning season in 15 years.
“Wess is a floor general,” Bateman said. “She takes care of the defense. She tells everyone which way it is going and will dive through a wall for you. She’s a hustler and floor captain.”
This year marks the first time for McKendree University to offer the beach volleyball program.
“This is an exciting time for McKendree Athletics as the emergence of beach volleyball at the collegiate level continues to grow at a rapid rate and we’re excited to be able to add the sport to our intercollegiate athletics program here at McKendree and also to the Metro East area,” McKendree University Director of Athletics Anthony Francis said during the announcement last December. “I’m very confident that our new beach volleyball program will be a fit here at McKendree and will be able to succeed in conjunction with our current women’s indoor volleyball program.”
Wesselmann said she looks forward to continuing her career, earning her bachelor’s degree and finding her place in the world.
“One of the most important lessons would be to never have self doubt,” she said. “You are on the court for a reason, the teams needs you to be there mentally so you never have anytime to doubt yourself.”
Wesselmann added that what she has loved about playing is the competition and the opportunity to rise to the occasion.
“My favorite thing about the game would be the speed and competition you play against,” she said. “College ball is the real deal, everyone that is playing is on the court for a reason. Competition is always my favorite because the games are always so high intense and close.”