By Steve Warns
/ Published May 15, 2018
Capt. Abby Hall helped the All-Air Force women’s volleyball team win the 2017 Armed Forces championship, its first in five years. (Courtesy photo)
Capt. Abby Hall said she learned more about herself as a volleyball player this past year than any other. “I think Air Force Sports is a great opportunity to continue to grow as an athlete but also as an Airman,” she said. (Courtesy photo)
An acquisitions officer with the Armament Directorate was recently named the Air Force 's athlete of the year.
Capt. Abby Hall, a member of the Air Force women's volleyball team, took home the award for her efforts on the squad.
Hall, who works with the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Program Office here, helped the All-Air Force women’s volleyball team win its first Armed Forces championship in five years last May. She then helped the All-Armed Forces team place second in the World Military Games, the highest finish in 23 years.
“As an Airman, I share this award with my teammates,” said Hall, who started at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, before she was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 2012. “Personally, it shows my hard work and dedication on and off the court is paying off. Volleyball has and continues to open doors for me that I would not have known otherwise. The experience of playing for the Air Force and Armed Forces is more than I could have imagined. I’m always thankful for the opportunity to grow and play in the sport that I love.”
Hall’s playing and coaching experience complemented her readiness and resiliency during the Armed Forces Tournament and the World Military Games.
Hall, normally an outside hitter, was asked by coach, Nicki Holmes, to play middle hitter during the Armed Forces Tournament. She not only filled that role, she thrived, as Air Force won five straight matches to win the gold medal.
“Middle hitter requires the ability to read the game,” Hall said. “Thankfully, with the coaching staff’s help and pulling from my own coaching experience, knowledge, and familiarity of the game I was able to fill that role.”
Perhaps Air Force’s most memorable match was against the U.S. Navy for the championship. Air Force led 2-0 and was down 24-12 in the third game, but reeled off 14 straight points to win the title.
Holmes approached Hall again and asked her to fill a setter role on the All-Armed Forces Team.
“He knew I could set because the previous year I was the setter for our USAFE team, but I never imagined I would be a setter at this level,” Hall said. “Setter is like the quarterback of the team, so I had to be resilient and change up my leadership style to run our plays.”
Hall said she learned more about herself as a volleyball player this past year than any other.
“It was frustrating, and my mental game was challenged,” Hall said. “But as an Airman, when I was called, I knew my role and I was ready for the challenges.”
“I come back to my duty station a better officer and leader with new tools in my belt,” she added. “I think Air Force Sports is a great opportunity to continue to grow as an athlete but also as an Airman.”
To learn more or to apply for a spot on one of the teams, visit Air Force Sports program website.