For a moment, all is quiet. For a moment, only one thing matters. For a moment, the world stands still. The silence is broken by the blowing of the whistle and the start of the rally, then noise fills the gym: the chanting of the crowd, the thunder of the ball and the voice of Lauren Hubbard echoing off the walls. These are the sounds of a Friendswood High School volleyball match.
L. Hubbard is a senior captain of the FHS volleyball team. She has been playing on Varsity for two years and is known for her compelling leadership, outgoing personality and positive attitude that never seems to dwindle, no matter the circumstances.
“She’s a great leader,” Sarah Paulk, FHS head volleyball coach, said of L. Hubbard. “She’s basically a coach on the court: she does everything she’s supposed to do, she’s always where she’s supposed to be, she gets excited, she’s loud, she’s everything you want out of a kid.”
Haley Hubbard, FHS senior volleyball player, agreed with her coach.
“She’s very outgoing,” H. Hubbard said. “You can always count on her to hype people up and put people in the best mood.”
L. Hubbard said being positive is a huge part of her identity.
“Staying positive is a big thing for me,” L. Hubbard said. “I always say volleyball is a super mental game. We have a talented team, but if you’re not there mentally, you fall because it’s all about who has the energy. One thing I always try to do is emphasize yelling and getting excited, even for the little points.”
Because it is her last season of volleyball, L. Hubbard stated she is not taking anything for granted.
“Everything we do is my last thing and so it makes me sad, but at the same time, it makes me excited because it’s my last year and I want to make it the best year,” L. Hubbard said. “I want to make every practice count. I don’t have very many of these left, so I just want to make the most of every single thing we do.”
Getting those last experiences almost did not happen for L. Hubbard after an ankle injury forced her to face having surgery and enduring a long recovery. She was released to play again during the second day of her senior tryouts after she begged her doctor to release her a week and a half early. This time away from the game made for a more challenging return to the season.
“She’s had to do way more than anyone else because she was at such a disadvantage because she wasn’t running or jumping all summer,” Paulk said.
Hubbard responded saying the set-back did not discourage her.
“It was hard to accept I was going to be behind for a little while, but it was also really motivating because it made me want to work so much harder off the court,” L. Hubbard said. “Every single night I went to the track and ran because I wanted to be better.”
Her teammates took notice to this extra effort.
“She’s a really strong leader with a really strong personality, and it shows,” H. Hubbard said. “She makes me excited to play and be better. I look up to her a lot.”
L. Hubbard said she gets her leadership from her mother.
“My mom is my hero. She’s the most genuine, selfless person I’ve ever met,” L. Hubbard said. “Since I was little, she’s shown me what it looks like to be dependable and to be a leader. She is the rock of our family. Seeing her lead us makes me want to lead in everything else I do.”
For now, L. Hubbard’s focus is on leading her team to an undefeated season in District.
“I want to go out with a bang,” L. Hubbard said. “Whenever I’m on the court, that’s where I am and nothing else matters. I know what I’m doing in that moment is making a difference for the team.”