Dec. 14, 2009
Jessica Johnson, Auburn Media Relations
The 2009 volleyball season has come to an end, but proved to be just the beginning of many hopeful seasons ahead. Head coach, Wade Benson led 18 girls to 16-15 record overall.
With half the girls being freshmen, it was up to the older ones to step up and become leaders. One leader in particular, junior Lauren Mellor, noticed her role as more than just a position on the court, but as a role model as well.
"I can lead by example," Lauren said. "I come in everyday and work hard, I never give up, and I hope that they can see that and learn from it."
Someone who knows Lauren really well is associate head coach Chris Campbell. Lauren gives a lot of credit to her coach who as helped her become a better player.
"Lauren is one of the most diligent athletes I've ever worked with. She has a remarkable ability to pay attention to every detail, no matter how small, as it relates to her position," Campbell said. "She is also one of those rare athletes that genuinely show up in the gym to improve every single day--she never takes a day off from trying to get better."
For Lauren, and like many other student athletes, school comes first. Lauren chose to come to Auburn for other reasons that didn't just include volleyball. She knew that she wanted to come to a school that was going to offer an opportunity to pursue a career in the fashion industry.
The 5-11, middle blocker, who is studying apparel design in the classrooms, can be found in the off-season in front of a sewing machine. Lauren doesn't just like to design clothes, she also makes them and wears them. Lauren, who always thought of this as more of a hobby, never noticed how far this could take her in life until her senior year of high school.
"Being from a small town, everyone seems to chose the same career paths," Lauren said. "One day a teacher asked me what I wanted to do and I knew I like being creative and making clothes. I never knew that I could do it for a living until then and that is just awesome."
Growing up with seven brothers and sisters, Lauren said that she and her sisters were always doing something that involved crafts. Having a whole room dedicated to nothing but crafts, they called it the creativity room. Even as she has gotten older, she still finds time to get creative with her sisters.
"I lived with one of my sisters this summer who has two little girls," Lauren said with a smile. "We designed and made a skirt that we want to try to sell online."
Lauren enjoys designing and making clothes, but she also wants to focus on what's important, which is finishing school and helping the team get to the NCAA tournament.
"If we do not make the tournament this year then I want that to be my goal for my senior year, and if it doesn't happen, well then I hope I can just leave here knowing that I helped the program grow."