Excited For The Road Ahead

By Elizabeth Teitzel

As Utah redshirt junior Abby Simmons steps onto the court, she continues to be a shining example of leadership and teamwork. Simmons is a true example of leadership to those around her.

"Since I am entering my fourth year on the team, I believe the biggest asset I bring is experience. I remember being where everyone else is now and I know how much my presence can effect others on the team," Simmons said.

"A part of being a teammate is making sure others feel they are confident and make sure everyone gets what they need done. Making sacrifices for others and realizing that everything you do affects other people is a major part of being a team member. Being a part of a team is not just about one person, but working together towards a common goal that everyone has."

Even when she was unable to play due to a thumb injury last season, Simmons still supported her team from the bench with encouraging words and a positive attitude.

"Being out was really hard, but the way you handle it is making sure you keep yourself be a part of the team. You still help the team mentally instead of physical. Being at the games really helped me develop strategy as I watched and I was later able to talk with team and share an outside perspective," Simmons said.

Over the last four years, Simmons has had many personal accomplishments on the volleyball court including many career high numbers of digs and assists, but Simmons says her favorite memories have come from time spent with the team and the success they share together.

"One of my favorite moments I have had being on the team was during my freshmen year when we made it into the Sweet Sixteen (at the NCAA tournament). I remember playing against Washington at Washington," she said. "It was such an accomplishment to have made it that far."

As Simmons gears up for the new season ahead she is excited for the road ahead. Being part of a new conference brings on new competition and challenges. It will be up to the whole team to pull together to work to overcome these challenges faced ahead.

"Venturing into a new conference faced with new teams and challenges will be hard," she said. "But it is overcoming those challenges that will make us good. We have so much potential they we do not even realize yet and getting to see that play out throughout the year will be exciting."

Simmons is excited to grow closer to her team members and watch them accomplish career highs. As a leader for both older and younger members of the team, Simmons lends some helpful advice.

"Always remember, that it's not about you. No one should be left behind. It takes every piece to make something great," she said. "There is always something important to learn from on another. All these great players come together and it's not about you.

"It's about the team, making sure everyone gets it done."

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