The junior outside hitter, a first team All-Central League girls’ volleyball selection, was among the league leaders in kills (152) and recorded 57 digs, 11 blocks and a .255 hitting percentage. Lower Merion head coach Lauren Perri noted Lane’s rapid all-around improvement: “Abiah did not start playing volleyball until her freshman year. We knew she could make an impact just on her athleticism alone. However, knowing that athleticism can only take you so far, she has taken it even further by fully investing herself in knowing the ins and outs of the sport. You can often find her arriving early to practice to make sure she is properly warmed up and taking extra time to work on detailed parts of the game like her snap or contact on the ball. Abiah is not only one of the strongest hitters in LM history, but her focus and energy contribute even more to the success of the team as a whole.”
Q: The Lower Merion girls’ volleyball squad had a fine season this past fall, finishing second in the Central League with a 10-2 record. What is your favorite memory of the 2020 season?
A: Despite the 2020 season being cut short, there are too many to count. However, my absolute favorite would have to be from our win against Garnet Valley. It was an intense five-set match but we fought till the end and inevitably saw victory. I was so unbelievably proud of my team and our determination that day and the win is always more fun when the other team puts up a good fight.
Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? What part of your game are you currently working on the most?
A: The strongest part of my game would probably be my aggressiveness on the court and my passion for the game. It’s always my goal to cheer and support my teammates and compete competitively with the opposing team. Having fun on the court and trying to make sure my team is too has always proved as the most effective way to have a good game. My team has had some of our best wins when we were relaxed and positive. As for training, I am currently working on my hitting and arm swing mechanics. It’s a tedious process and requires a lot of repetition but I know it’ll inevitably make me a better player.
Q: What sparked your original interest in volleyball? Who have been your biggest volleyball mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each one?
A: I wanted to play volleyball since middle school but I wasn’t ready to give up soccer, a sport I have more than six years of play with. I’ve always been tall, so I tried basketball but it wasn’t the sport for me. I finally quit soccer after my eighth grade year to pursue volleyball and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. No sport has ever had such a big impact on my life. Some of my biggest volleyball mentors would have to be my Lower Merion volleyball coaches, Lauren and Dan Perri. They have guided me since the beginning and toned my skill for the past three years. They are both very committed to seeing each and every player succeed and that is support I think every athlete needs. Coach Lauren has taught me a lot about how to play smarter in a game and how important it is to think quickly on your feet. Coach Dan has taught me a lot about leadership and being a driving force on the court.
Q: Tell us a little about your volleyball training since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. What have you found to be the biggest challenge to your training during the pandemic, and how did you handle that?
A: Volleyball training during COVID-19 comes with a fair share of mental challenges. I’ve definitely had my ups and downs wrestling with motivation and productiveness during quarantine. I handled these by turning my focus towards my future because it’s easier to work for something once you have a clear goal.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation on the day of a game.
A: It all starts with eating well and getting a good amount of rest. But right before a game I normally listen to chill music from my favorite R&B artists. When I listen to this I can calm any nerves I might have and focus on my objectives of the day. I eventually transition to my hype music playlist, which puts me in a good mood and fuels my energy for the game.
Q: Do you participate in any other extracurricular activities at Lower Merion?
A: I am in my school’s Black Student Union and Asian Culture Club.
Q: What is your favorite course at Lower Merion? What do you think you’d like to major in at college? Is there a career path that particularly appeals to you?
A: My favorite course currently is my Voices in African American Literature class. It was recently added to our course options and it is a class I would heavily recommend to my peers and underclassmen. I’m certain I’d like to major in Biology in college but I have yet to decide on a specific career path.
Fun facts – Abiah Lane
Favorite book: Are You Sleeping, by Kathleen Barber.
Favorite TV show: Attack on Titan.
Favorite movie: The Conjuring.
Favorite athlete: Yossiana Pressley.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (JerseyClubRemix).
Favorite pre-game meal: Smoothie Bowl.
Person I most admire, and why: “My dad – he’s invested a lot of time, money and effort into my future. He’s served as my own personal coach and I’m sure I wouldn’t be where I am in volleyball without him. Having started volleyball in my freshman year, it wasn’t easy, but I had an immense amount of support from my parents.”
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)