Fabris is volleyball’s true leader

Kristina Fabris is anything but a run-of-the-mill volleyball player.

In September, she was named to the Wright State Raider Challenge All-Tournament Team. In October, she was named the Best Western Invitational MVP and earned all-tournament honors.

Showing how mentally strong she is, Fabris wasn’t satisfied with those accomplishments, and eight days later she posted a double-double with 15 kills and 18 digs, scored 18 points and dished out six block assists, a personal season high, in a key Big East victory against the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Fabris is the lone senior in a young volleyball team that dares to dream big this year, thanks to her leadership and consistent performances on the court.

“Kristina is determined to achieve success and make sure the team is in good shape by watching film and giving us advice on the court,” said Stephanie Augustavo, a junior who has been Fabris’ teammate and friend for the last three years.

Fabris has been the catalyst for the volleyball team’s outstanding season. With the team at 17-9 overall and 9-5 in the Big East, she hopes to achieve her dream of becoming a national champion.

“There is no doubt in my mind that if we play well enough, we can upset anybody,” she said. “There is no limit to what (this team) can do.”

Fabris has matured as a player over the years, and all the hard work she put in during practice has come to fruition this year. She set career highs in points, solo blocks, digs, assists, aces and kills this year, and her presence on the court has been a guarantee of a double-double every game.

Fabris concentrates on team awards, and doesn’t think her responsibilities change at all as the only senior on the team.

“Everyone on the team knows their roles, and I don’t have to go out of my way for anything,” the Bulls’ 5-foot-10 middle blocker said.

Life hasn’t been all roses and praises for this native Canadian though – she has had to overcome her share of obstacles.

“Through my four years here at USF, I have had to deal with conflicts on and off the court in my freshman and sophomore year,” she said. “But those conflicts and challenges have made me stronger, and now I appreciate the good times I have had these last two years.”

After suffering stress fractures in her left shin during her first two years with the team, Fabris became the team’s leader last season. She has won over every player on the team with her winning attitude and high energy on the court.

“Opponents hate us on the court sometimes, but I think that’s a good thing,” Fabris said.

While opponents might not like Fabris, her teammates feel the opposite way. Fabris made an inspirational video for the team to watch prior to the start of the Big East Tournament.

“We started crying, but then we looked at each other and cracked up,” middle blocker Nakia Williams said. “It helped us all release the extra emotion and pressure of it being a must-win game.”

She began demonstrating that extreme dedication at an early age.

Fabris got her ultra-competitive spirit from her four siblings: Darryl, 25; Gregg, 23; Joanna, 18; and Michael, 16.

“We are all really close and play sports with each other,” Fabris said. “We always competed and my older brothers always made me want to be as good as they were.”

They would play hockey, basketball, flag football and baseball.

Fabris said she always got the bragging rights in the end, since she was faster and a better shooter.

Her family wasn’t available to comment on their sister’s family dominance.

Beloved by family, friends and teammates alike, Fabris is heading down the final year of her college career. With all the awards and accolades she has received since high school, there is only one thing left to do – the thing she wants the most: to be on top of the podium with the NCAA championship trophy in one hand, and the Most Outstanding Player award in the other.