The Lincoln Memorial Lady Railsplitters volleyball team had a stellar season and Lauren Kiwacka is one of the reasons why. The senior rightside  hitter/ setter was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Southeast All- Region Team. This following a season in which she and her teammates tied a school record by going 23-8, recorded an all-time high in conference victories at 12 and helped Coach Mike Smith (If that IS his real name. I’m kidding!) pick up his 350th career victory. Kiwacka ends her LMU career with 58 double-doubles, 12 triple-doubles, 660 kills, 3,159 assists, 140 service aces, 1,164 digs and 250 blocks. It was great to talk to an athlete who wears the number 4 but is all about the team and not themselves.

 Lauren Kiwacka

Position: RS/S

Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: Lethal Lauren

What should opponents fear the most from you?  “The chemistry I have with my team. When we are all together and work as a team there is no stopping us. I expect a lot out of my team and they expect just as much if not more out of me.”

Why would you say you had the kind of successful season you had?   “As an athlete and competitor I am never satisfied because there is always room for improvement in a true athlete. I am proud of my team and the accomplishments we have had in my four years. We beat many school records all across the board. These girls gave me a great last season.”

What individual accomplishment are you proudest of from your time at LMU?   “I am most proud of my team accomplishing the first NCAA tournament appearance my sophomore year! This was a great accomplishment for the program as a whole! But personally I would say 1,000 digs or my number of triple-doubles. 1,000 digs is a big accomplishment for me for 2 reasons. First is that I am a sitter and typically setters do not accomplish this goal. Also, I was a middle blocker before I became setter the second week of my college career. For people who may not know volleyball a middle blocker plays front row only and rarely if ever gets a chance to play in the back row. I’m proud to say I have improved my defensive skills enough to accomplish the rare 1,000 digs. I am also proud of the number of triple-doubles in my career. My goal every game was to win and have a good team showing. Stats were not a big deal to me but these 2 areas I am most proud of.”

What was your least favorite part of practice?   “Most people respond to this question with answers like running, conditioning or monotonous ball control drills. However, I would have to disagree. My least favorite part of practice is the end. When the team is having a good day and are accomplishing a lot I hate to see practice come to an end. The same goes for a terrible practice. I want to fix whatever may not be working for the day before we quit!”

If a movie was made about this season of Lady Railsplitters volleyball what should the title be?   “Continuing the Legacy. Last year we were living the legacy, this year we were trying to continue it.”

What is the most laughably bad movie you’ve ever seen?  “Goodness! I love/hate Napoleon Dynamite but Year One was a pretty laughably terrible movie!”

Well, that wraps it up! Lauren expresses herself very well and seems like a natural leader who would make a good coach if she wanted. Thank you to Lauren and to all the great people at Lincoln Memorial University for making this possible.

For streaming video of Lethal Lauren and I actually splitting rails while conducting this Q&A click here: http://www.lmurailsplitters.com/ 

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