St. Joseph middle hitter Gabby Foster believes more is better

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RIVER FOREST — St. Joseph’s Gabby Foster is as close to the perfect student-athlete as it gets.

The senior is a standout on the volleyball, basketball and soccer teams, has never gotten anything less than an A in high school, carries a 4.83 grade-point average and is the No. 1 student in her class.

“It’s a little difficult balancing everything, but I like the challenge of time management,” Foster said. “My parents pushed me to be the best I can be and they’re the reason why I don’t settle for a B on a test or a B in a class. Being valedictorian is a big goal for me going forward and it’s something I’ve worked hard to achieve.”

Foster, a resident of Forest Park, couldn’t imagine playing just one sport, even though focusing might make her better.

“I like being able to do a lot of different things,” she said. “It would be too hard for me to choose just one of them.”

Foster thinks her best sport is soccer, but has been playing volleyball since the sixth grade. At 5-9, she’s been a key middle hitter for the Chargers since she was brought up to varsity as a freshman. This year she leads the team in both kills and blocks.

“She really brings the energy and intensity to the team,” said Chargers first-year coach Ashley Talley. “She also brings the skill and is very smart. You don’t always need to hit the ball as hard as you can. Sometimes it’s easier to find holes than to swing hard and commit errors.”

Senior setter Emily Liotine echoed her coach’s sentiment Oct. 23 after the Chargers’ 25-15, 25-21 loss to Trinity.

“[Foster] is a great volleyball player and brings so much energy,” Liotine said. “She has a very good approach and is a hard swinger. She’s quiet but once you get to know her she comes out of her shell. She’s also a great student and has a good personality.”

While playing sports occupies much of Foster’s time during the school year, her passion is architecture. She hopes to open her own firm and design buildings. Her interest began years ago, when she was assigned a class project.

“In sixth grade we had to do a history of Chicago project and I chose the [AMA Plaza, aka IBM Building] downtown,” Foster said. “I remembered passing by the building and the design really interested me.”

During her research, she learned the building was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. She admires his less-is-more approach, which van der Rohe referred to as “skin and bones” architecture.

“He basically used just steel and glass to make most of his buildings,” Foster said. “He said all buildings don’t have to be extravagant.”

Foster, who likes to doodle and use SketchUp to design buildings, has narrowed her college choices to Syracuse, Cincinnati and Iowa State.

“I’m definitely interested in going out of state and getting to live on my own,” Foster said. “All three schools have great architecture programs and hopefully I’ll know where I’m going by the end of the year.”

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