Senior volleyball player Lauren Harrison was one of the leaders for this year’s volleyball team, and she was rewarded with Under Armour All-American honors after the conclusion of the season. She’ll be attending the University of North Carolina next year on a volleyball scholarship, and she talked about that and more with us earlier this year.
Q: Congratulations on being named to the Under Armour All-American team! How did you feel the year went for you overall?
A: I feel like the volleyball season went pretty well! We obviously did not finish the way we would have liked to, but overall it was a fun season. Personally, I improved upon some skills which include being a leader on and off the court, defense, and blocking.
Q: When did you get started playing volleyball? Why were you drawn to it as a sport?
A: I started playing volleyball in the 6th grade. The team aspect of volleyball drew me to the sport. For several years before I started playing volleyball I was a tennis player, so I was excited to play a team sport.
Q: Looking back at your time at Woodward, what are you most proud of, both on the court and off?
A: On the court, I am probably most proud of building relationships with people I would have never had if it were not for volleyball. Also, I am proud of making it to the state finals last year! Off the court, I am proud of developing as a person.
Q: What was the college recruiting process like for you? What made UNC stand out from your other options (and what other schools were you looking at)?
A: The recruiting process for me was not hard. It was just a lot because, in volleyball, colleges start recruiting you around ninth and tenth grade, and at 15 years old I was not particularly focused on choosing a college. UNC was my dream school before I even started playing volleyball. When I walked through campus it felt like home away from home. The coaches were really nice and welcoming; I thought that I could develop as a player and person under them. The other schools I was looking at were Florida State, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Texas, and The University of Miami.
Q: UNC is obviously a prestigious academic school as well as an elite athletics institution. How did you balance academics and volleyball throughout your Woodward career? What were some of the biggest challenges?
A: It was not as hard as I thought it would be to balance school and volleyball. In the high school, you can take classes strictly for learning study habits and completing homework. So I took these classes during the volleyball seasons, and in these classes I would get the opportunity to complete homework and study. The most challenging part for me was finishing a game late at night, and trying to make sure you’ve studied enough for a test while also trying to get ready for the next day.
Q: How does it feel to be heading into your final few months at Woodward? What are the emotions like?
A: It is very surreal. It feels like just yesterday I was in the first grade starting my first year at Woodward. There are definitely a lot of mixed emotions. I am excited to move to a new environment with different people, but then I am really going to miss all my family and friends.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
A: My goals for the future include going to dental school to become a dentist or orthodontist. I have not yet decided on my major. I would love to play volleyball overseas if the opportunity arises.