PacWest awards athlete

The women’s volleyball team at California Baptist University is in the midst of a successful season. Contributing to the team’s success is Lauren Hackett, freshman international studies major.

Hackett has worked hard since high school to succeed and the long hours of hard work and dedication paid off when she received two PacWest Freshman of the Week honors in the last three weeks of competition.

Hackett has proven to be an asset to the Lancers. After four varsity years of volleyball at Kentwood High School in her hometown of Covington, Washington, Hackett was given the opportunity to continue her volleyball career at a collegiate level of competition.

“My time at CBU so far has definitely exceeded my expectations,” Hackett said. “I am on a team with 14 incredible girls who make practice something I look forward to every day.”

Having a team made up of close friendships motivates Hackett to work harder.

“I feel more confident as a player this year because of the way our team builds each other up,” Hackett said. “We encourage each other on and off the court.”

Hackett, an outside hitter, leads the team and the PacWest with 135 kills this season. With her .400 hitting percentage, she was able to help the Lancers sweep Fresno Pacific University during the home game Sept. 19, earning her the second Freshman of the Week title.

Hackett said the first thing she did after receiving the news was text her parents.

“My mom and dad are my biggest supporters, and they don’t get to see many of my games,” Hackett said. “It was nice to give them that honor and make them proud.”

Behind an athlete stands an entire team, and without a team working together, success is not an option.

“Any honor received is a reflection of the team as a whole,” Hackett said.

Along with a supportive team, the coaching staff encourages the outside hitter to do her best.

“Our coaches are really invested in us not only as athletes, but as people, too,” Hackett said.

Head coach Branden Higa said Hackett has much to contribute to the team.

“Lauren’s position as outside hitter plays a very important role for us,” Higa said. “We depend on her to kill the ball for us at a high level.”

Along with her skill, Hackett brings a hardworking attitude to every practice.

“She brings a great work ethic to the court,” Higa said.

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