March 3, 2024

Lauren Hackett, senior graphic design major and outside hitter on the women’s volleyball team, has been named to two all-tournament teams and earned the PacWest Player of the Week honor merely one month into the season.

Hackett is no stranger to receiving awards. As an allstate player out of high school and a three-time All-PacWest first-teamer, this year’s accolades should not be surprising.

Hackett said these awards typically end up hidden away in her locker and she prefers they not be announced in front of her teammates.

“It’s exciting to get those (awards) and it adds a little bit of pressure and a little bit of hype,” Hackett said. “But I try to keep them pretty low on the radar so I don’t get too hyped up.”

Kiera Brunson, senior film studies and creative writing double major and middle blocker, said Hackett has a leadership role on the team.

“For the last four years Lauren has grown into that role,” Brunson said. “She has just been a leader, someone to look to on the court when something is going wrong, someone that’s going to stay focused and stay humble.”

Branden Higa, head coach of women’s volleyball, said that when it came to recruiting Hackett, “God took care of the rest.”

“I don’t believe there are recruiting mistakes. There are reasons why someone is here,” Higa said. “Hackett is just a really great illustration of that story.”

Higa emphasized Hackett’s versatility as a volleyball player. He noted, even as an outside hitter, she has led the team in serving or digs in some matches. He made it clear she is not a one-dimensional person, either.

“She’s president of the International Justice Mission club and involved all over the place. Not just as an athlete; as a student, as a believer. It’s been awesome,” Higa said. “Whatever she does, whether it’s a volleyball player or graphic designer, the focus for her is to reach people for Christ.”

Brunson, who played for the same club team as Hackett in high school, said she has seen significant growth in Hackett over their four years together at CBU.

“Just watching Lauren grow these last four years has been really cool,” Brunson said. “Coming in as a freshman until now you’ve just seen her mental game grow, including her physical game.”

Hackett said the CBU coaching staff deserves the credit for any growth that has taken place during her time at CBU.

“I felt that even as a 16 – or 17-year-old recruit from Branden and Blair (Penner, assistant coach),” Hackett said. “They invest in us as humans, as Christians, and treat us with so much respect and understanding and I think that kind of plays out in the volleyball side, where we’re confident because of it.”

Hackett said the way she views her athletic accomplishments has changed over the years.

“As a freshman coming in, I was like, ‘Wow this is so cool, this is going really well,’” Hackett said. “But now I feel like there’s an expectation and I, in a very positive way, want to meet that expectation.”

The Lancers will be back in the Van Dyne gym Oct. 11 for a home match against PacWest foe Chaminade University.

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