CROWN POINT | Before the girls basketball season started, Abby Kvachkoff had already decided that she was going to be the black sheep in her family.
Kvachkoff comes from a long line of basketball players. Her aunt Annie Equihua is the girls basketball coach at Crown Point, won two state championships with the Bulldogs and is in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. She went to Purdue. Abby's sister Courtney was a North Junior All-Star and is in her sophomore season at St. Joseph's college.
Her uncle is a basketball referee. Her grandparents have a basketball net in the backyard, where the cousins still gather to play.
Abby picked tennis, committing to play for Purdue Calumet.
"Everyone is shocked I'm playing tennis, but it's one of the most fun sports I play," Kvachkoff said. "It's very laid back. Basketball can be very intense sometimes, and next year I want to focus on my studies mostly."
"Abby decided to go tennis, and I'm so happy for her and part of the reason she's having a great year is that there's no pressure on her," Equihua said. "I think before the pressure was there to be Courtney's sister and my niece and basketball, basketball, basketball. Abby loves tennis and does a really good job playing tennis and that expectation that you're supposed to be this, this and this, that isn't there for her in tennis. I think this year, once she made her mind up that was the direction she was going, she played so much more relaxed."
The ease of mind has helped Kvachkoff become the region's best 3-point shooter, with 51 through 17 games.
Without a comprehensive scouting report on Kvachkoff, she doesn't look like a typical outside shooter. At 6-foot, she's tall and athletic and should easily be a post player.
That's where her beyond-the-arc weapon is disarming. There are few guards in the area tall enough to stop her on the outside.
"A lot of good teams will put a really quick person on her so she doesn't get a shot off. Abby's really good at catching and sees an offer and firing," Equihua said. "We're teaching her now she has to shoot off the dribble, off the ball screen. She has improved that part of her game this year. Last year she had to spot up and shoot it, now she's getting more looks coming off screens and shooting off the dribble."
The senior hit nine 3s in two games in the second week of the season, before conference teams figured her out and limited her looks outside.
"A lot of girls started stepping up on my team, so I didn't have to do as much as I did at the beginning of the year, and other teams started figuring out that I was an outside shooter," Kvachkoff said. "I had to find new ways to get open. It's hard getting points that way, but my teammates help out a lot."
She has adjusted well to the change in defensive pressure, Equihua said.
"If we were playing a team that was keying on her, it was hard for her to get a shot off. That shows how much she worked this summer," the coach said. "Now it's no different, they still know Abby's the shooter, but now she's getting the shot off and her teammates know 'we need to get Abby open, we need to set the screen, we need to help her out a little bit.'"
With the season coming to a close, Kvachkoff's next love, tennis, is on the horizon. The Bulldogs were sectional champs and lost to Munster in the regional last season.
"I don't want to play more than one sport, I just want to focus on my studies, and tennis," Kvachkoff said.