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updated: 10/25/2012 2:06 PM

Schill, Fesl share in Hersey's excellence

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  • Hersey, with Abby Fesl and Taylor Schill holding the MSL championship trophy, pose with teamates after earning the program's 10th league title.

       Hersey, with Abby Fesl and Taylor Schill holding the MSL championship trophy, pose with teamates after earning the program's 10th league title.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Hersey's Abby Fesl completes a line of distinguished siblings who have excelled on the volleyball court for the Huskies.

       Hersey's Abby Fesl completes a line of distinguished siblings who have excelled on the volleyball court for the Huskies.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer


As a young girl, Taylor Schill participated in several different sports.

On one of her first basketball teams, she became friends with Abby Fesl.

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Following that first season, Fesl's mother Joanie asked Schill if she'd like to be on a park district summer volleyball team.

Little did Joanie know she was matching up two athletes who would several years later be named "Co-Players of the Year" in the Mid-Suburban East.

And after leading Hersey to a 10th MSL championship and 31-5 record, they are the 2012 honorary co-captains of the Daily Herald all-area girls volleyball team.

Schill is the libero and Fesl the setter for the dynamic Hersey attack.

"A huge reason for our success this season has been due to having both a great setter in Abby Fesl and an amazing libero in Taylor Schill," said Hersey coach Nancy Lill.

"Having two top players in the state in these two positions has been instrumental to our success this year."

Schill is the backbone of the back row. She has made 569 digs, more than 250 better than the second highest total on the team. Her serve receive is tops on the team and she owns the school's single-match dig record with 37 digs.

Schill is also the most consistent server on the team (95 percent) with 39 aces .

"This team's defense is one of the best in our program's history," said Lill, who has won more than 800 matches in her 29-year career. "And that defense is anchored by Taylor, the best libero I have ever coached."

Lill also coached Fesl's two older sisters, Megan (Notre Dame) and Annie (Cincinnati). Abby will be the third from the family to play Division I volleyball when she joins the Northern Florida program next year.

Abby Fesl has collected 688 assists this season while converting 1,730 of 1,761. Her 60 aces lead the team and she is serving at a 91 percent clip.

Feel is equally dangerous with her second attacks. She has 111 kills on 230-of-248 attacking. Fesl also had 188 digs and 27 blocks.

"Abby has benefitted from some great passes this season, but our hitters are even luckier to have Abby providing them such great sets," Lill said " She makes our hitters look great with her sets."

Schill stresses how great her coaches have been at Hersey.

"My coaches have been exceptional and have helped me get to where I am today," she said. "From freshman year to senior year, they have always been there for me and challenged me to do my best."

Schill combines the mental and physical aspects that are needed to be a successful libero.

"I always have to be strong mentally in order to make good passes and smart decisions," she said. "I also have to be very physical by going for every ball even if I don't think I can get to it. These two aspects of the game are very important and I like the challenge brought on by each of them."

And Schill, who plans to study pre-med or business and play volleyball in college, won't forget the friendships she has made through the sport.

"That is another part of the game I love," she said.

Schill has loved volleyball ever since Joanie Fesl made the suggestion to try it with her daughter Abby, who did just about everything as a youngster from playing the piano to multiple sports.

"My parents (Rich and Joanie) always told me do what I loved," Abby said. " Finally, when I was a freshman, I decided I wanted to play volleyball exclusively."

And she has put her self in an exclusive group of Hersey standouts who will move on to the game's highest collegiate level.

"My favorite part of the game is playing in the matches," said Abby, who plans to study journalism at Northern Florida. "It's a bittersweet feeling playing in my last home game this week with regionals. It's always a thrill to step out on the court and play with the team, whether it's for a conference game, a tournament, or a championship."

Feel and Schill sure have brought that share of championship to Hersey. They never lost a conference match. And this year, they won their second MSL crown in three years as starters.

"Taylor and Abby led this young and inexperienced group to a highly successful season," Lill said. "One that we hope continues to a deep state run. I know Both Abby and Taylor will be successful as they move on to the next level of competition in college."

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