GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Abbey Gitter (Hortonville, Wis.) carried a major workload for the Green Bay volleyball team in 2010. With a young group of outside hitters, Gitter made 300 more swings than anyone else on the Phoenix squad and led the team with 317 kills.
This summer, while many of her teammates were around campus in Green Bay, Gitter was helping to carry the workload for a different team and on college campuses in a completely different environment. Gitter spent the month of June on a mission trip in Montevideo, Uruguay, working with Campus Crusade for Christ.
While on her mission trip, Gitter spent many days on college campuses, talking to students and sharing her faith with them. Her group also did outreach events, including one for younger children in a poor neighborhood outside the city where she helped teach the kids, feed them and play games.
“The experience changed my life and my perspective of the world in many ways,” Gitter said. “Living in a different culture opened my eyes to new language, food, traditions and beliefs. I think the most rewarding thing was just going into it with an open mind and being able to trust God throughout the month. We were all experiencing things we had never experienced before, and every day I had to trust in God because I was never sure what the day was going to look like.”
Gitter said while she loved her experiences in Uruguay, she missed playing volleyball and missed her teammates a lot. She was excited to come back to them at the end of the trip and begin preparing for her senior season.
“I hadn’t been away from volleyball for that long since I started playing in seventh grade,” said Gitter. “It was nice for like the first week but then it drove me crazy not to have a set workout. I missed my teammates and I missed playing. That is what I was most ready to come back for, to see my teammates and to play volleyball again.”
She will be playing volleyball again for real on Friday night at the Kress Center when her senior season begins with a 7 p.m. match against James Madison. As part of the Green Bay/Country Inn & Suites Tournament, the Phoenix will also face North Dakota and No. 19 Dayton on Saturday. For more information on the tourney, click here.
As a team captain, Gitter believes her summer experience will help her as a leader on and off the court this season, and she has confidence with the season set to begin that this team is capable of accomplishing more than any of her previous Phoenix teams.
“The atmosphere in general felt different than any other preseason I’ve had here,” Gitter said. “I feel like it’s definitely going to be a turning point season for this program. I’ve got high hopes we can accomplish our goals of being conference champs and getting into the NCAA tournament, and that’s what we’re looking forward to doing.”
(Release Courtesy of Andrew Gavin, Green Bay Athletics)