While the video below highlights her fiancé Austin Hatch, a senior with the Michigan men’s basketball team, there is no doubt that 2016 women’s volleyball alumna Abby Cole plays a huge part in Hatch’s story and future.
In a tear-jerking and awe-inspiring video posted by CBS Sports titled Austin Hatch Perseveres, Cole talks about how she first heard about and then met her now fiancé as a freshman in Ann Arbor.
He’s a motivator. He’s an inspiration. He’s a Michigan Man.
You may have heard of @umichbball’s Austin Hatch, who survived two plane crashes. For Austin, his incredible story of perseverance is only just beginning. pic.twitter.com/wcIC4USTrZ
— March Madness TV (@MarchMadnessTV) March 24, 2018
Hatch survived two plane crashes growing up one in 2003 and one in 2011, which saw him lose two siblings as well as his mom, dad and stepmom. Brain trauma kept him off the court all four years of his Michigan career, but as the video explains, he never ceased to impact those on the team as head coach John Beilien honored his scholarship despite the long road of recovery he faced.
For her part, Abby played the loving fiancé and supported Hatch throughout his journey, all while starring on the volleyball court for the Maize and Blue. The 6-5 middle blocker was a second team All-America honoree in 2015 and a two-time All-Big Ten selection (2014, 2015). All told, Cole notched 1,452 kills (3.03 per set), while hitting .317 and adding 446 blocks (0.93) and 278 career digs.
While the video is mostly about basketball, the Final Four bound Michigan Wolverines and Hatch’s amazing impact on the team without playing in a single game, the story was too good not to share to sports fans of all sorts. Cole’s role in Hatch’s story gave us an additional reason to put it front of volleyball fans.
I mean, is anyone more deserving of a Final Four trip their senior year? pic.twitter.com/re6FAkrxHG
— Abby Cole (@abbybcole) March 28, 2018