Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

December 5, 2012

Ashland standout taking her game to college level

ASHLAND — Ashland’s region volleyball championship run finally reached its stopping point this past season.

Nevertheless, senior Abbey Card’s enthusiasm for the game only grew.

“Even though we didn’t go (to State) my senior season, I got to step up and be a leader,” Card said. “It was my favorite year.”

Card filled the leadership role nicely to help the young VolleyCats stay intact on their way to a 64th District title.

She was also on her way to a college career.

Card signed a letter of intent with the University of Pikeville in November.

The opportunity to study elementary education and play volleyball at a place close to home was too attractive to pass up.

“When I went down and took a campus tour and got to watch some volleyball, I knew at that point I was going to Pikeville,” Card said. “They were immediately kind and welcoming.”

Coached by Shannon Gassman, Pikeville struggled some a year ago. The Lady Bears tallied just seven wins, but they did come out victors in three of their last seven matches.

At Ashland, Card went from a “scrawny freshman,” as she said, to a solid, dependable player. She mostly played as a setter.

Card credited VolleyCats coach Jeffrey Huff for growth as a player.

“He worked with me on strength training,” Card said. “And I improved a lot on my serving.”

Card also played club volleyball with Southern Extreme in Ohio. Haley Johnson, a club teammate, will join Card at UPike. She goes to Coal Grove.

Excited about her jump to college volleyball, Card won’t forget plenty of fond memories while at Ashland.

In her freshman season, the VolleyCats went 21-15 and were somewhat of a surprise in becoming 16th Region champions.

“We felt like we were on top of the world,” Card recalled.

They went on to nab two more titles.

Card received a significant boost in playing time as a sophomore as Ashland went 31-8. In 2011, Card helped lead Ashland to a 27-14 campaign and a third straight trip to the state tournament.

AARON SNYDER can be

reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

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