Area Female Athlete: Palmer serving up success for Patriots
People in the prep volleyball world know Abby Palmer.
And, after Palmer pounds a jump serve over the net for an ace, those that don’t know her soon learn.
Palmer’s jump serve has taken hours of practice to pull off in a game. But it’s work she enjoys doing.
“It’s not really a sport for me any more, it’s more of my life,” said Palmer. “I enjoy coming to practice every day. When we have a tournament on the weekend, I enjoy getting up early in the morning. It relieves all of my stress from school work. It’s just fun to go out and play volleyball.”
That pure joy seems to be working as Palmer pads her stat sheet on a consistent basis.
In a 3-0 victory over Sebeka Sept. 18, Palmer finished with 11 kills, 11 ace serves, four digs and three blocks.
“Her jump serve is impressive to watch and when the other team sees it they get intimidated by it,” said Pequot head coach Kate Dale. “She starts us off on a good note. Against Sebeka, she rattled off 15 in a row. It just starts the game off in the right tone for us.”
Palmer registered 11 kills, eight ace serves, seven digs and three blocks in a 3-0 Mid-State Conference win over Staples-Motley Sept. 20.
The four-year varsity starter, who is leaning toward playing at Hamline University in St. Paul next season and studying pre med, said her experience helps.
“I would say it’s taken me a while to get to this point,” said Palmer. “It helps to have that experience. It develops that court sense. For instance, you’ll just know if the line is open you can see that in a split second because it’s only open for a short time. You’ll have that ability to see that hit down the line. If you haven’t played long enough it’s hard to see it.”
Last season, Palmer finished with 234 kills, 211 digs and 40 ace serves on 88-percent serving to earn spots on the All-Mid-State Conference and Brainerd Dispatch All-Area teams.
But her biggest improvement, she said, has been her jump serve.
“It’s very hard,” said Palmer. “It’s your toss that really counts. It depends on where you aim and coordination has a lot to do with your jump serve. Not many people can do it.
“There are two different kinds: the float and the topspin. The topspin is a lot harder to pass off than a normal serve.”
Palmer stays after practice every day working on her serve. That work ethic, and Palmer’s temperament, are what Dale loves the most about her senior captain.
“She’s pretty even,” said Dale. “There aren’t a whole lot of ups and downs with her. She doesn’t get really high or really low. She’s just steady. In volleyball, that’s what you need. Nothing rattles her. She just plays her game.
“She gets volleyball. She understands it and she’s a great leader and she teaches the younger kids well.”
Other notable performances:
Soccer: Scotti Jo Meyer, Little Falls, made seven saves in the Flyers’ 1-0 victory over Becker.
Swimming and diving: Jaelin Beachy, Staples-Motley won the 50-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke, in school-record time, and helped two relays to first against Fosston.
Volleyball: Emily Miron, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with 20 kills, 11 digs and seven blocks against Henning. She added 21 kills, 10 digs and four blocks against Nevis and added 33 kills, 25 blocks and 14 digs in three games at the Burnsville tournament.
Abby Palmer, Pequot Lakes, finished with 11 kills, 11 ace serves, 4 digs and 3 blocks against Sebeka, added 11 kills, eight ace serves, seven digs and three blocks.
Kelly Pearson, Staples-Motley, finished with 28 digs, 11 kills, two blocks and an ace serve against Pelican Rapids.
Teresa Moenkedick, Verndale, finished with 27 digs, 15 kills and six blocks against Henning. She added 45 kills, 54 digs, two block and two ace serves in the Ulen-Hitterdal tournament.
Carly Bell, Pillager, finished with 30 digs against Menahga.
Bridget Bednar, Pierz, finished with 14 kills, 11 digs, three blocks and 1 set assist against Kimball.