West Holmes senior Lauren Park found a new home in Athens, Ohio, and the Ohio University women’s volleyball program is going to be the benefactor of her decision to attend college as a Bobcat.
Park recently ended the recruiting game as she disappointed a number of other schools seeking her service as a three-time All-Ohioan on the volleyball court.
“I actually had my heart set on going to West Virginia, but I visited OU, and I didn’t know that much about it because my dad had been talking to them,” Park said. “Then I got there and instantly realized that was where I wanted to go. I had a couple more visits scheduled and told dad I didn’t even want to go on them. I was sold.”
Park said she couldn’t find any negatives about OU, and the coaching staff and team made her instantly feel like a part of the Bobcats family.
Park’s list of accomplishments is staggering. She exploded on to the high school scene as a freshman, racking up 325 kills on her way to earning first-team all-conference and second-team all-district honors. As a sophomore, she hammered out 335 kills and made second-team All-Ohio. Her junior year saw the kill total leap to 492, and she earned first-team All-Ohio honors. She finished off her illustrious career with 482 kills as a senior, again earning first-team All-Ohio honors while placing herself in the top 10 in kills in OHSAA history.
Park waded through a tough senior campaign that saw the Lady Knights struggle, but that didn’t stop her from being a team leader as she kept a positive outlook.
Finally getting the decision out of the way officially was something to which Park was looking forward to taking place. Having started playing the game of volleyball when she was 5 years old and having played with the goal of playing at a Div. I school for so many years, it was refreshing for her to get that bucket list item taken care of.
“I am so excited. I can go to a place where I feel I can contribute and make an impact as a freshman,” Park said. “I have totally enjoyed my time here at West Holmes, and I think my experience here will help me work with my teammates at OU and fit in well there.”
A well-known commodity for her brutal hits, something many may not know about Park is that she is very good all over the court, whether it is digging in the back row, serving or passing the ball.
She said she hopes the staff will allow her to stay in the game once she gets to the back row, but she said for now they are planning on using her as a rotational hitter at the net.
“Hopefully I can develop my game quickly at that level and get to where they trust me to play all of the other roles,” Park said. “It’s going to be a big change in a lot of ways, but it is one that I am looking forward to taking on.”