As the fall sports season heats up during the first semester at Cosumnes River College, student athletes display their talents and academic rigor.
Hawks’ sophomore volleyball setter, Lauren Smith, was crowned athlete of the week after playing a pivotal role in back-to-back games against the Columbia Claim Jumpers and Redwood Corsairs on Sept. 14.
“She played amazing. She was a leader on the court. She got a whole bunch of balls up, that we normally wouldn’t get up,” said Kari Post, volleyball head coach. “She fought every second of that match and she did that more than anyone else on the team…she definitely stood out.”
Throughout the night, Smith set the team up with 56 combined assists. She contributed 32 digs and had six service aces. Smith exemplified her skills on the court by maintaining perfect sets with no referee calls for double contact or lifts.
Smith was honored to be athlete of the week and appreciated the fact that her hard work on the court was not going unnoticed. She did not receive a lot of playing time last season and was thrilled to become an asset to the team.
“As a setter you, are kind of like the quarterback of the team,” she said. “You don’t always get the glory like a hitter does but seeing that I am getting recognized and getting the attention, it really means a lot.”
Aside from athletic performance, student athletes must demonstrate good character and excel academically.
Smith has shown valuable leadership skills, strong sportsmanship and maintained academic excellence, despite the struggles of managing her academics with her life on the volleyball court.
“When I’m not in practice, I spend a lot of time in the study center doing homework,” Smith said.
“When you have a test and an essay due on the same week…and you have an away game…it can be a lot.”
Smith’s passion for volleyball developed as a kid. She began playing the sport in middle school, first in her physical education class and then as a member of her 7th grade volleyball team.
Smith continued to play volleyball in high school, where she was named Academic All-American for four years in a row, before joining the Women’s Volleyball team at CRC.
As the season continues, Smith hopes to remain consistent as a setter.
She is determined to sustain her athletic performance and strives to play as well as she did against Columbia College.
“That was a really good game for me,” she said. “I want to keep performing like that throughout our next games.”
You can catch Smith and the Hawks in their next home game on Sept. 30 against San Joaquin Delta at 6:30 p.m.