Weekly senior spotlight feature was written by Connor Wagner for CUWFalcons.com
From an early age, Concordia Wisconsin senior Women's Volleyball captain Lauren Nevinski has been a head above the competition. Standing 6-foot-1, she measures in as the tallest player on the Falcons roster and because of her abilities has morphed herself into one of the best middle blockers in program history.
"From the get go when I started playing in 5th grade I was always the tallest girl in the class, so I've always played middle because of that," the New Berlin, Wis., native stated.
Nevinski entered her senior season with 332 career total blocks, which ranks fifth all-time in program history, and had 108 total blocks during the Falcons NACC Championship season a year ago. Through the first half of the 2017 campaign, she has already accumulated 55 total blocks over the course of 17 matches, helping lead a defense that she says has only improved from last season.
"We've got a strong back row and we've been able to have success with our big block at the net," expressed the leading blocker in the NACC. "So, I definitely think we've improved defensively as a team from last year."
As a senior leader, Nevinski has seen her role expand even further from years prior. "When I was a freshman I looked up to the senior middle hitter hoping that in four years I would be in her position," she said. "Now I've somewhat taken on that mentor role for the younger players on the team. I've been in their shoes before, so I understand where they're coming from and I try to help them as much as I can."
While the team loves to compete and focus on the court, they also know when there's a time to have fun and enjoy themselves. "We love to have fun while also still competing," Nevinski said with a smile. "We all know when and how to get the job done, but without our team's sense of humor it wouldn't be the same, and we wouldn't play to our full potential. I love the team bonding games before matches to get the whole team laughing and excited to play."
As October quickly approaches, the Falcons have only dropped two matches, both in non-conference play. The team currently boasts the second most kills per set (12.71), hitting percentage (.197), assists per set (11.41) and, of course, blocks per set (1.90) in the conference, largely due to increased offensive production by Nevinski and others. She currently ranks third in the conference in hitting percentage at .307 and is the best blocker with 55 total blocks (1.06 per set).
The Falcons are a family on and off the court, but it's their extended family that means just as much when it counts the most.
"My whole family is definitely my biggest support system," Nevinski said about her loved ones. "But if I had to pick one person who's my biggest supporter, it'd have to be my grandpa. My grandma and he make the two hour trip to almost every match. He's supported me throughout my entire career and can never get enough volleyball. His friends in Redgranite know me as the "volleyball granddaughter". He sometimes even scouts out our opponents before our team does. He's just the best supporter I could ask for."
Nevinski and the Falcons are prepared to defend their NACC title, as they continue into the difficult schedule half of the schedule.