Big Ten kills leader Symone Abbott has missed the last two games for Northwestern with a ‘leg injury,’ but according to hear coach is healthy and expected to return for Wednesday night’s matchup with Illinois.
Abbott is “back and healthy and feeling good,” Northwestern head coach Shane Davis said. The Wildcats split those games – sweeping Rutgers 3-0 for the 2nd time this season, and then losing to current #12 Wisconsin by the same score on Saturday.
Freshman outside hitter Nia Robinson has gotten most of the opportunities in Abbott’s absence. The team’s 2nd-leading scorer had 24 kills against Rutgers (her second highest output of the season), and followed that with 13 against Wisconsin (no other Wildcat had more than 3).
Northwestern is just 3-9 in the Big Ten this season (13-11 overall), but the senior Abbott has been a highlight of the season so far. She ranks 20th nationally and 1st in the Big Ten this season with 4.34 kills/set. Even with Abbott missing the last two games, Abbott and Robinson sit only 5 kills behind Minnesota’s Stephanie Samedy and Alexis Hart among the most productive offensive duos in the Big Ten this year.
Abbott has 1533 career kills, which ranks her 4th on Northwestern’s all-time list. It would take a herculean effort for her to catch #1 or #2 on that list, but #3 is within striking distance in Northwestern’s 8 remaining matches. She would need 16 kills/match to surpass Janine Makar, and she’s average 14.4 this season.
Robinson is averaging 3.56 kills/set this season. She’s not yet eligible for Northwestern’s all-time list (she only has 704 career attempts), but should jump into the top 5 early next season when she becomes eligible. She’s well ahead of the pace that Abbott showed as a freshman, though Abbott has made huge strides in productivity in each year of her career.
Northwestern’s all-time Kills Leaders (As of November 1, 2017)
- Stephanie Holthus (2010-2013) – 1,797
- Janine Makar (1985-1988) – 1,666
- Symone Abbott (2014-present) – 1,533
- Erika Lange (2000-2003) – 1,618
- Lindsay Anderson (2004-2007) – 1,516
Northwestern’s all-time Kills/Set Leaders (As of November 1, 2017) – Min. 1,000 Att.
- Stephanie Holthus (2010-2013) – 3.77 kills/set
- Symone Abbott (2014-present) – 3.76 kills/set
- Erika Lange (2000-2003) – 3.71 kills/set
- Lindsay Anderson (2004-2007) – 3.59 kills/set
- Janine Makar (1985-1988) – 3.37 kills/set