Two-sport star Abby Olbrich has been named Linfield College’s Female Athlete of the Year following a vote of the athletic department’s coaching staff.
Already a three-year letterwinner in tennis, the junior also tried her hand at basketball this year. Despite not playing competitively since high school, she earned a spot as the team’s starting point guard.
Appearing in all but two contests for the Wildcats, Olbrich averaged 31.6 minutes per game, 5.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and team-high 2.9 assists. Her assists and assist-to-turnover ratio both ranked in the top-10 in the Northwest Conference.
With Olbrich running the offense, the Wildcats achieved a 13-11 win-loss record and went 8-8 in league games to finish fifth in the NWC, just one spot away from competing in the league tournament. In doubling its win total from the previous season, the Linfield club posted its first winning season in five years.
“Abby did an outstanding job leading the team this year,” said women’s basketball head coach Robin Potera-Haskins. “What makes her unique is that she is not only a tremendous athlete and extremely intelligent, she is also a vicious competitor.”
The second half of the basketball season spelled double-duty for Olbrich as she geared up for the upcoming tennis season. Yet the demands of multiple practices did not prevent her from fulfilling her role as the Wildcats’ top player.
Competing at No. 1 singles and doubles, Olbrich received first team all-Northwest Conference accolades for the third straight year. She compiled a 13-6 record in singles action and went 14-8 in doubles. She claimed both the singles and doubles championships at the NWC tournament, leading Linfield to the team title and a berth in the NCAA playoffs.
“Abby is a coach’s dream because of the mentality she has on the court,” said women’s tennis head coach Amy Dames Smith. “She’s incredibly humble and is one of the hardest workers on the team.”
Though the ‘Cats were bounced in the second round of the West Regional, Olbrich was selected to compete in the individual championships, held May 27-29 in Claremont, Calif.
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