Athlete Spotlight: Abby Tiesman

The Women’s Volleyball regular season has come to a close with the post-season tournament quickly approaching. Our Orediggers have finished 19-6 overall and 12-5 in the conference, and have clinched a position in the tournament as the fourth seed. On this year’s team there is plenty of talent, but there is one athlete that stands out the most: senior Abby Tiesman. She leads the team and is third in the conference in kills with 341 total, and also leads the team in blocks (93.0). She has been RMAC offensive player of the week twice this season and is a role model for her teammates on and off the court.

Where did you grow up?

Tiesman grew up in Wheaton, Illinois, near Chicago.

What do you love about volleyball?

Tiesman loves how it is fast-paced, and its importance to play as a team. “It is difficult for a single player to take over the team and the team working as a group is vital to success.”

How did you get introduced to volleyball?

Volleyball is a family sport for Tiesman. She said “My mom played volleyball in college so the sport has always been part of my household growing up. I was introduced to the sport through my mom and going to summer camps from a young age.”

Do you prefer indoor or outdoor volleyball?

“I prefer indoor volleyball so that weather is not a factor.”

What is the most important trait to have as a talented volleyball player?

Tiesman has worked very hard to get to the level she has. “The most important attribute is to be self-disciplined in training and adaptable during games. Success comes from the detailed preparation before the game, and being able to adjust to what the team across the net is doing in that moment is key to coming out with the win.”

How has playing volleyball affected your life?

Volleyball has been a huge part of Tiesman’s life. It has taught her many things and has given her many memories to look back on. “Volleyball has had a huge impact on my life in terms of time commitment but also the lasting relations and the life lessons learned along the way. I have learned how to be a good teammate and do something greater than just for myself. I have made life-long friends and memories and I am so grateful for the ability to play at a high level.”

Do you play any other sports?

In high school, Tiesman tried her hand at other sports as well. “I played basketball through sophomore year of high school and made varsity my last year,” said Tiesman. She eventually chose to commit to volleyball though “[I] I didn’t play after that so I could play club volleyball full time. I love playing basketball and it was a tough decision to give it up.”

What is it like to be on the Oredigger volleyball team?

It is not easy, but is well worth it. “Being on the volleyball team means high expectations, but also the results that are worth the work and a team bond that is unbreakable.”

You lead the team in kills and kills/game… Do you feel any pressure to perform for your team?

The pressure is there, but Tiesman can handle it. She said, “Sometimes I do feel pressure to perform for my team, but I am confident in my training and my team’s support and I know I do not have to do it by myself.”

What made Mines the college for you?

Tiesman had a few things in mind when picking her collegiate education: A new location, successful athletics, and a strong academic program. Mines fit all of these needs for Tiesman. “Mines is the college for me because of the excellent engineering program paired with excellent athletics. I knew I wanted to do engineering and continue my athletic career and I was interested in living somewhere different from Illinois”

What is your most memorable experience for Mines volleyball?

Tiesman’s most memorable experience was recent, during parent weekend this season. “With my family at the game in person on Saturday for senior night, we played Metro, who was one of the top teams in the conference, and pulled out a 5 set win. I couldn’t ask for a better last conference match inside Lockridge Arena.”

What is your major?

Tiesman is a mechanical engineering major.

What are your professional plans for the future?

Tiesman has an immediate future already set up, but is still preparing herself for her long-term career. Tiesman said “Fortunately I have a job lined up once I graduate, but I am not sure of my long term professional plans right now. I am excited to see how my career develops.”

What does being a student athlete mean for your work-ethic?

Being a student-athlete causes one to be forced into being efficient with their time. “Being a student athlete means having less time to do school work because of daily weight-lifting, meetings and practice, but having the same academic expectations. It requires having a strong work-ethic in order to be successful and there is no way around it.” said Tiesman. It also has a way of spreading to the people around you. “Athletics shows how your work-ethic affects other people so it makes me want to be better for my teammates

What advice would you give to any freshman Orediggers?

The most important thing is to balance your time. “My advice is to make school a priority but also make time to relax and do something you love with other people.

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