CHATHAM _ Not long after Morristown setter Alli Remler got her 360th assist as a sophomore, Abby Schubiger made her plea.
Most times, it was when she got together with Remler. Sometimes, it was via text. Her request?
"I want to be 1,000," Schubiger said. "I better get it."
On Monday, Oct. 12, Remler, now a senior, set Schubiger, one of her closest friends, in the Colonials' match against Columbia and the milestone was in the books.
"I knew it was coming," Remler said. "Abby got into the rotation, I set her and she got the kill. It was simple. There was no block. She was at the center of the net and the ball went straight down."
Remler, a three-year starter, boosted her assists total to 1,011 versus Columbia. She added 20 more on Thursday, Oct. 15 when Morristown prevailed, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, over Chatham in a hard-fought match.
Morristown now has two players who have attained 1,000 assists. The first was Bradley Taylor, a senior when Remler gave up cross country to join Morristown's volleyball program.
"Bradley went for everything. She threw herself everywhere," Remler said. "She was always composed. Bradley was always diving."
Remler, who received a golden ball and shared cupcakes with her teammates after the feat, brings much energy and all-out efforts to the position as well. She was on hand when Taylor surpassed 1,000 and it became one of her personal goals.
"Alli is very serious about what she does," Colonials coach Bill Condon said. "She has relished the role a setter has - running the court and understanding the momentum of the game. Alli has been one of our leaders. She's a strong, steady player."
Before running in middle school, Remler was a swimmer. Her older sister, Jen, played volleyball and everywhere her club team went so did Alli.
"We traveled a lot for club," Remler recalled. "Everyone wanted me to play, too. They egged me on. I tried it. Volleyball is in the family."
Besides Jen, Remler's mother, Dorothy, played the sport at Livingston High School. There was no way the younger Remler was going to return to the trails. She loved running but was a bit intimidated by the prospect of dramatically increasing her mileage.
So, after Taylor graduated, Remler became the setter. She said playing club volleyball up a level as a freshman gave her confidence. There are several traits, she said, that make for a reliable, consistent setter.
"You have to have a lot of trust in the passers," Remler said. "You have to move your feet, get under it. I see them before I set them. We work on communicating. I want to keep everyone up. I see everyone move across the net."
Putting down the kill on Remler's 1,000th was, no doubt, a thrill for Schubiger. Schubiger, headed to Colgate to play basketball, was pleased to be a part of it.
"Abby is a big hitter," said Remler, whose career high of 32 assists came against Roxbury last season. "Whenever the subject came up, she reminded me. Abby was excited. The whole team was excited and came together."
By getting past the Cougars, Morristown improved to 8-9. The Colonials, on track after the graduation of five seniors, have won six of their last eight matches. They have victories over Morris Hills and Columbia and defeated third-seeded Mendham in the first round of the Morris County Tournament.
In the Chatham match, the Colonials got out to a fast start in the first set. However, their serves were too long and they made too many errors in the second set. Condon was pleased with the way Morristown battled back in the third set.
"Three-set matches are good for us," Condon said. "It makes the girls fight harder. They have to finish the job. We need to take out the lows and play much steadier. In the second set, they had to understand that they have a job to do and grind it out. Managing errors is important. We want to win the point not have the other team lose it."
Schubiger, a middle blocker, finished with 11 kills. Kayla Bush, a junior middle blocker, had seven kills. Junior outside hitter Emma Hein contributed 11 digs.
"We had a good third game and did what we had to do," Remler said. "We moved our feet better. We stuck to basic plays. As a senior, every game counts a little more. We played awesome."
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