Women's Volleyball

Abby Nelson
Abby Nelson


Chicago, Ill.

High School:




Getting to know Abby

Favorite professional sports team: White Sox

Favorite restaurant: Chi Tung, a Chinese restaurant by my house in Chicago.

Nickname: Gail

Career Plans: Physical trainer for the elderly

Favorite Food: Mac and cheese

Favorite TV Show: One Tree Hill

Favorite Movie: Love Actually

How I started playing the game of volleyball: My cousins and my sister played so my mom made me try it. I didn't want to and I cried on my way to my first practice.

What I like most about being a Fighting Illini: The support we get from our fans, the community, and everyone that helps our program.

My dream job would be: Something I can wake up every day and be excited about doing.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? Greece because I hear it's beautiful.

Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours. I always eat skittles in color order.

What's your favorite cartoon character? Stewie from Family Guy

One thing most people don't know about you: My pet peeves are missed serves and people who eat really loud.

Something I couldn't live without: My cell phone, I always have it on me.

Favorite Musical Group: I don't have a favorite music group but I love heavy metal music.

Favorite Illinois volleyball memory: When we had a team appetizer only dinner.


• Emerged as a starter and key contributor at middle blocker. • Hit .636 with eight kills in the three-set victory over Purdue on national television • Had a big weekend against Michigan and Ohio State with 15 kills and a .464 hitting percentage in a pair of road victories and followed that with a .533 clip with eight kills in rematch with the Wolverines on Oct. 31 • Is a major reason why the Illini were 15th nationally in blocks • Led team with 29 service aces • Hit over .300 12 times and over .400 10 times • Hit a career-best .667 with eight kills and five block assists in a victory over No. 23 New Mexico State • Totaled a career-high eight blocks in a four-set victory over Saint Louis and finished the tournament with 19 blocks at the Billiken Invitational • Set a career-high with nine kills vs. Dayton, Tennessee and SIU-Edwardsville • In the Tennessee Comcast Classic, Nelson had 24 kills and hit .403 • Hit .474 with 10 kills in five-set victory over Michigan State on Nov. 22.

• Made first collegiate appearance vs. IPFW, hitting 1.000 with three kills
• Came in for an injured Vicki Brown, pounding down seven kills and racking up five blocks in her first Big Ten start of the season against Iowa
• In a reserve role, slammed down four kills and registerd two block assists against Ohio State
• Saw time against Northwestern, notching three kills, one dig and three blocks

High School
Ranked 97th nationally and named All-American by prepvolleyball.com Led Marist to three regional titles • 3-time all-area in the Southtown and Star Newspapers • Was a 3-time all conference and 2-time all-state • Earned All-East Suburban Catholic Conference accolades • Marist was ranked 19th nationally by prepvolleyball.com and claimed the title in the ESCC, one of the top conferences in the state, in • All-State selection by the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and Champaign News-Gazette and was named to prepvolleyball.com's list of "Top 50 Impact Recruits." • Named MVP of the ESCC • Posted a .410 career attack percentage with 849 kills, 1,410 blocks, 172 digs and 29 aces. • As a senior, hit .446 with 242 kills and 380 blocks after hitting .508 with 208 kills and 380 blocks as a junior • Earned all-tournament honors at the Junior Olympics in 2004 with Celtic Force, which one 15 open championship • Holds school records for career attacks (1,623), kills, hitting percentage and blocks • High school coach was Natalie Holder • Played for Second City, Celtic Force (coached by Mike Brennan) and 1st Alliance

Born Jan. 19, 1989 • Daughter of Bruce and Marilee Nelson • Has one sister, Kate (age 19) and one brother, David (14). • Plans to major in kinesiology • Three cousins attended Illinois two others were Division I collegiate athletes -- Meg Troller (volleyball at Georgetown) and Maureen Troller (softball at Western Illinois) • Member of Student Ambassadors

Career Statistics

	2007	15	27	19	11	42	.190	1	2  	4	0	9	2	8	10	2	0
	2008	34	125	199	62	464	.295	9	29	20	0	69	5	114	111	2	12
	Total	49	152	218	73	506	.287	10	31	24	0	76	7	122	121	4	12

Career Highs
K: 10 vs. Michigan State (11/22/08) E: 5 vs. North Carolina (8/29/08) TA: 21, twice last vs. Ohio State (11/1/08) PCT: 1.000 (3-0-3) vs. IPFW (8/25/07) A: 2 at Saint Louis (9/5/08) SA: 5 vs. SIU-Edwardsville (9/19/08) SE: 23 vs. SIU-Edwardsville (9/19/08) D: 7 vs. Oregon (8/30/08) BS: 2, twice, last at Michigan State (10/24/08) BA: 8 at Saint Louis (9/5/08) TB: 8 at Saint Louis (9/5/08)