Volleyball adds Abby Gilleland as assistant coach

Milwaukee – head coach Ryan Theis announced the addition Abby Gilleland as an assistant coach for Marquette University’s women’s volleyball program.

Gilleland joins the Golden Eagles after three seasons at the University of Connecticut, replacing former assistant Meghan Keck, who left MU in mid-January after eight campaigns. Keck and Theis coached Gilleland during their time in Ohio.

“Meghan and I had the great pleasure of recruiting and coaching Abby while working at Ohio University,” said Theis. “I think it’s very fitting for Abby to take Meghan’s place. Abby is loyal, hardworking and highly intelligent. She was an All-American setter and an even better competitor. She’s a perfect fit for our program.”

Gilleland helped the Huskies to one of their best seasons in recent history in 2021, when they finished 24-11 with a 13-5 score in BIG EAST Conference games. The 13 BIG EAST wins were UConn’s most wins in the program’s history, while the 24 total wins were the most since the 1995 campaign. In addition, the Huskies defeated a ranked opponent for the first time by beating No. 19 Creighton in five sets.

Gilleland played a key role in guiding McKayla Wuensch to become the program’s first BIG EAST Setter of the Year. Wuensch finished second in the conference in assists per set (9.65) and increased her average to 10.20 in conference matches.

Prior to arriving at UConn for the start of the 2019 season, Gilleland served as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2017 and 2018. Gilleland helped coach two Southern Conference All-Freshman rosters, four SoCon Player of the Week rosters, as well as a few All-SoCon Second Team honors. Gilleland worked with the Mocs’ setters, general assault, recruiting, in-match strategies, operational planning, and served as the academic liaison. During her time, the team achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher in all four semesters, achieving 14 Academic All-SoCon selections in 2017-2018, with a student-athlete in 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District Team earned awards.

Prior to her time at UTC, Gilleland was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at The College of William & Mary. While there, her duties included organizing and monitoring the recruitment process, overall operations, and training setters. She coached a few student athletes from the 2016 All-CAA Third Team and All-CAA Rookie Team.

Gilleland has coached several camps over the years in addition to two club teams.

Gilleland played for Ryan Theis in Ohio and was an AVCA All-American (Photo: Ohio University).

Gilleland, a 2016 graduate of Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in sports science, was the setter and team captain for the Bobcats, setting an overall record of 93-33 and going 57-7 in Mid-American Conference games during her time. She is third in Ohio’s record book for total assists (4,702), second in assists per (10.45) and third in hit percentage (0.310).

Individually, she garnered several accolades such as the Mid-American Conference All-Freshman Squad, Tournament MVP and AVCA All-Mideast Region. Gilleland was also a two-time All-American honorable mention, conference player of the year, setter of the year, AVCA All-Northeast Region, and NCAA Tournament qualifier. She was selected several times to the All-MAC First Team and the Mid-American Conference Distinguished Scholar Athlete. Her other honors include being named a 2016 Mid-American Conference NCAA Women of the Year nominee and receiving the conference Medal of Excellence.

Marquette went 26-6 and is coming out of a BIG EAST regular season conference championship and 10th NCAA tournament this fall.

Keep up to date with the Marquette University women’s volleyball program through social media by following on Twitter (@MarquetteVB) and Instagram (@MarquetteVB) and ‘liking’ on Facebook (/MarquetteVolleyball).

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