Lone junior leads Grenadier volleyball

IUS Horizon

Lauren McCartin, computer graphics junior, is the longest tenured member of the IUS Volleyball Team.

When looking for the leader of the IUS Volleyball Team, one candidate stands out.

Lauren McCartin, computer graphics junior, plays as the libero and defensive specialist. She is the only junior on a team that has no seniors and five freshmen.

At 22 years old, McCartin is also nearly two years older than any of her teammates.

These factors along with the fact that she’s the youngest of four children and grew up with three older brothers, have made McCartin the capable  leader of the team.

“She expects a lot and the other girls don’t want to let her down,” Lesley Drury-Prather, IUS Volleyball head coach, said.

Drury-Prather said McCartin’s drive is what makes her a  leader.

“She’s a very determined person,” Drury-Prather said. “If we’re teaching a technique, she’s not going to stop until she gets it right.”

McCartin grew up in Floyds Knobs and attended Floyd Central High School, where she played volleyball all four years.

After considering other schools, McCartin  said she chose IU Southeast because of it’s proximity to her hometown.

“I didn’t want to separate from my family,” McCartin said.

McCartin said she likes IU Southeast, though she doesn’t get to meet as many new people as she’d like.

McCartin didn’t play volleyball during her first two years at IU Southeast, but, after attending an open gym during the summer of 2008, she decided she wanted to play and made the team the following season.

After one relatively unsuccessful year for the Grenadiers, changes were made. Drury-Prather was named as the head coach, and she hired her sister, Sarah Drury-Petkovic, as her assistant.

McCartin said the change has benefitted the team.

“Before, it was like we were just going through the motions,” McCartin said. “These coaches have brought the team so much further.”

McCartin said she credits volleyball for her continued education.

“I’m still in school because of volleyball,” McCartin said. “Volleyball pushed me to keep my grades up and stay around.”

McCartin began her career at IU Southeast as a continuing studies major because she wanted to get all her general education requirements out of the way, but, after taking some related classes, she realized she wanted to work in design and print.

This semester, McCartin is doing an internship with the IUS Writing Help Center.

McCartin said she has designed business cards and fliers for her father’s real estate agency.

McCartin has one year of eligibility remaining and said she will use it.

For now, though, McCartin said she is focused on leading the young, inexperienced team further than  last year when the Grenadiers lost in the semifinals of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament.

“We should have done better last year,” McCartin said. “It’s going to take some time, but I’m a very competitive person and right now I’m focusing on winning the conference tournament.”

By DERRICK HOLDRIDGE

Sports Editor

dvholdri@umail.iu.edu