Archive for Thursday, June 8, 2006

Hampton heads down the river

De Soto senior set to continue volleyball career

June 8, 2006

It's a decision many high school athletes have to make at some point.

What's next?

For Lauren Hampton, De Soto's two-sport standout athlete, making a decision was difficult, but Tuesday she announced she had finally arrived at one.

Hampton will play volleyball at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

"It's in a big city and that's something I really wanted and it's a big school. It had a gorgeous campus," Hampton said.

Acknowledging it's a little late in the process to be picking schools, Hampton said she had almost given up plans to play at the college level. She entertained volleyball scholarship offers from Kansas community colleges including Butler County in El Dorado and Cowley County in Arkansas City, but she decided she'd rather attend a larger school and focus on attaining a degree that would allow her into the fashion merchandising world.

"There wasn't really anything else I was looking at for volleyball," Hampton said. "I got accepted to San Diego State and Arkansas and I wouldn't have played volleyball at those places. I was just deciding if I wanted to play volleyball or just go to school and learn."

But the UMSL offer changed all that. After road tripping to St. Louis for a meeting with the coach and a few future teammates, Hampton said she was sold on the UMSL Riverwomen.

"When I was there, I got to spend some time with a couple of the girls that are already on the team and they were really accepting. They made the trip a lot of fun," Hampton said. "Also, the coach (Josh Lauer) is really outgoing and a lot of fun and easy to talk to. He knows a lot about volleyball and he'll improve my game."

Hampton could be a major help to the Riverwomen, too.

The team, which is composed mostly of athletes from in and around the St. Louis area, finished 6-22 last season. The team was ninth in the 13-team Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Rockhurst, which is based in Kansas City, Mo., won the league with a 22-3 record.

"Last year they had just two or three players returning and everyone was new," Hampton said. "They said when the spring season came, they played really well together, and this fall they expect to be even better. I'm really looking forward to helping the team improve."

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