Sophomore spikes competition

Sophomore spikes competition

Lauren Otto kills – on the volleyball court that is. The outside hitter for the volleyball team is punishing opponents and turning heads in her second season in purple and white.

During her freshman year, Otto began to make a name for herself by starting 26 out of 29 games. In a season that saw the team go 17-15, Otto ranked first on the team in double-doubles with 11, ranked third on the squad with 288 kills and third in aces with 39.

Otto picked up where she left off last season, and her play has been one of the reasons for the team’s fast 10-1 start this season. When the Horned Frogs traveled to Maine to compete in the Maine Invitational, Otto was named the most valuable player, going for two double-doubles in three matches and accumulating 20 kills.

Otto has enjoyed the team’s success and improvement this year, but said a strong work ethic is what has brought the type of success she has achieved to this point.

“It’s a lot of fun winning these games,” said Otto. “But at the same time, we know it’s a lot of work. We just work together to be successful.” Although she has attained so much success playing volleyball for the past 14 years and has developed a passion for the sport, Otto has aspirations not involving volleyball for her future.

“I am an interior design major and I look forward to getting involved with that,” Otto said.

Blair Culwell, a fan of Otto, is glad Otto’s performance has helped get the team off to such a fast start.

Culwell, a junior advertising/public relations major and former high school volleyball player, remembers competing against Otto and what she was like on the court.

“I remember playing against her in club tournaments and she was always very dominant on the court,” Culwell said. “Watching her now, it is obvious that she has improved in talent, and I think this team is fortunate to have her.”

The natural maturation process has Otto wanting to be a mentor to her freshman teammates – just as the older girls mentored her last season. Otto said because the team spends so much time with each other, they have become a tightly knit group.

“I live with two younger players and I spend most of my time around the team,” Otto said. “We’re all so close so it helps keep each other motivated.