Kentwood High School graduate is volleyball all-star

Lauren Hackett is great at volleyball, and much more

Kentwood High School graduate is volleyball all-star

Kentwood volleyball star Lauren Hackett has made it big in college and plans to continue making it big after graduating.

Hackett is currently a senior at California Baptist University, a division two school, where she plays volleyball.

Hackett started playing when she was about 10 or 11 years old in the Covington Recreation League, she said.

As she got older, she advanced onto the playing club for juniors and eventually ended up playing for Kentwood once she hit her freshman year of high school.

“I think volleyball for me was more about skills and less about aggression and I think I liked that a little bit better,” she said. “I was definitely more inclined to play volleyball because my mom played. You know everyone wants to be like their mom.”

Volleyball carried Hackett all over the United States. She said she traveled all over Washington for tournaments, but also to different states as well.

She said if it wasn’t for volleyball she would have never thought to visit some of places she has, such as Texas, Minnesota and other states further away from Washington.

On these trips, she said she has met some great people.

“I really, really love to compete in general, but I also just love everyone that I’ve met and the friends that I’ve made and (I) like the places it has taken me,” Hackett said.

Another great aspect of volleyball according to Hackett is it is sort of like a stress reliever from everyday activities that go on in her life.

“You can have a lot of stress from school or stuff going on in your life and you can come play volleyball and everything else just kind of fades, and you can just live in the moment, play and compete,” she said. “It’s definitely an adrenaline rush and it’s kind of like you zone everything else out and you just focus on your team and getting the ball over the net and that’s kind of it.”

With that said, the stress can really make it hard to juggle school, a social life and play a competitive sport according to Hackett.

She said the hardest part is prioritizing and figuring out how to manage her time.

“How am I going to get my homework done and squeeze in a nap before practice? Or choosing to say no to hanging out with people because you have to go to weights or catch up on rest,” she explained.

As far as prepping for games, Hackett said she doesn’t do much. She said, “I think because I play better when I’m feeling relaxed, I don’t really like to get in my own head.”

She said about an hour before each game she tries to mentally prepare herself, but that’s about all the prepping she really does.

Before games and throughout each week, Hackett said she has to make sure she eats enough.

All the hard work Hackett has put into her volleyball career has really paid off.

This year is her third year being First-Team All American in the division two of the her college league.

“It’s cool because it brings attention to the school and our school is pretty small and under appreciated,” she said. “It’s also cool to see my parents sharing things on Facebook. I can tell their really proud and that makes me really happy to give that to them especially after all the time they put into going to club tournaments, traveling and making it to every game.”

According to Hackett’s dad, Pete Hackett, she has also won other awards such as when she was a freshman at CBU, she was Player of the Year.

She has started in all of her matches as of last year according to the CBU’s website.

The website said she has a recorded team high of 492 kills and that she was the only freshman All-American that year, 2014.

Once college is over she will have to adjust to a life of no volleyball. For a little bit that is….

“It will definitely be something I have to adjust to, figure out how to workout on my own and stuff like that, but I’m going to try and continue to play after college on a pro team somewhere,” she said.

According to Hackett, there are a lot of opportunities in Europe to play volleyball, but not many in the United States.

She said she is willing to go wherever to play if she gets that chance.

Hackett majored in graphic design and minored in global justice.

She said she majored in graphic design because she’s always been into art and said, “I just didn’t think I wanted to make it my job until I got here and saw the programs.”

“The minor is because I eventually want to do something with anti-human trafficking in some way shape or form so I’ve been doing the international justice mission club here and I was actually the president of it last year and I learned about what I wanted to do to help people who are enslaved or trapped in brothels,” Hackett said.

Hackett has done quite a bit of traveling and wants to continue to travel and help those who need it.

When she was a freshman in college she went to India to volunteer.

“It was insane, like I have never seen poverty like that and met people like that and it was eye opening. It helped me understand that I am just a very small part of this really amazing and diverse world,” Hackett said.

Last summer, she went to the Dominican Republic for a service trip and helped out at a school and an orphanage over there.

Hackett said she is ready to graduate and said she thinks these past four years of college have been amazing.

“It feels good. It’s been a perfect four years, it doesn’t feel like it’s gone by too fast, it feels like I know I’ve grown up a lot so that’s pretty cool to look back and see the difference in myself as a freshman (to now),” she said. “It’s just cool to look back and think ‘dang I did it. It’s over.’”


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