Photo by John Nakano

Freshman Lauren Frerking has just begun her first season playing volleyball for the Jackets. Frerking, a native of John’s Creek, Ga., led Wesleyan High School to a state title and two region championships. She was a three-time All State selection and has been to six state championships between volleyball, basketball and track in her four years at Wesleyan.

 

Technique: What has it been like to leave your high school team for a new set of girls?

Frerking: I mean, it’s girls that I went to school with and played volleyball with, and most of them I knew all throughout middle school, so that’s different. Thankfully, coming into this team, I already knew a couple of them, so that was very helpful. The biggest difference is that at the college level, everyone on the team is super serious about volleyball: they want to win, and they’re very good at what they do. In high school, you had some people that were just playing for fun.

Technique: Why did you choose to play college volleyball rather than basketball or track?

Frerking: Through my junior year, I was going back and forth between basketball and volleyball. I had played basketball since I was four years old. So in my mind, I was thinking it would be hard to leave that behind. But I had a lot of talks with my family and prayed about it a lot. I realized that I could see myself playing volleyball every day for the rest of my four years, and basketball I couldn’t really see myself doing that and enjoying it. I thought I’d be more likely to get burned out. My sister plays basketball at Auburn, so there was a part of me that wanted to start something new and do my own thing.

Technique: When did you start playing volleyball and why?

Frerking: I started playing in seventh grade for my school team, but I didn’t start playing club volleyball until my sophomore year in high school. I played softball and basketball and soccer up until that point. My mom played volleyball in high school, and I always heard about how much fun she had with it. And it looked like so much fun so in seventh grade I tried out for volleyball.

Technique: How do you balance school and being a collegiate athlete?

Frerking: I think my high school, Wesleyan, really prepared me well for that. I know a lot of alumni, especially athletes that pursued college athletics, also felt really well prepared. All throughout high school, you just had to find a way to balance. I think just [take] advantage of what being a student athlete gives you: having study hall hours and tutors and not being afraid to ask for help, taking advantage of what’s offered for us here, and being really disciplined.

Technique: To what or whom do you attribute your success as an athlete?

Frerking: Definitely God. I try to be very grounded in my faith, and I know that none of my success or my abilities are from myself. So I definitely try to glorify him with all my words and actions. I don’t want to take credit for any of my success.

Technique: How do you prepare for a match?

Frerking: I try to stay pretty even-keel, just kind of the same way for practice. I just do my normal routine and try not to psych myself out too much. Listen to music, talk to the girls, and try to keep my nerves in check. Dancing in the locker room and having fun. Obviously, I get butterflies before a match; I think everyone does.

Technique: What’s your favorite place to eat around campus?

Frerking: I actually have not gotten a chance to try a lot of the things here. I’m usually eating at North Ave or the AA, but I have been to Marlow’s Tavern; I have one of those by my house. I’ve always loved Marlow’s.

Technique: Is there a lot of competition between your siblings — who are also collegiate athletes — and yourself?

Frerking: We are all very competitive people, but we all realize that we are totally different. Athletically, I know that my two brothers and my sister have a lot more strength in some areas than I do, and they know that I excel in things that they don’t. Recently when I went home, the four of us had a two-on-two basketball tournament, and my older brother and I were on a team, and my sister and younger brother played on a team. My little brother and my sister both still play basketball. My older brother played football at Baylor, and I play volleyball. We had an ongoing joke that the “has-beens” beat the “superstars.” We definitely give each other a hard time, but at the end of the day we know that we are each other’s biggest support systems. My older siblings, I look up to them so much. They are some of the biggest role models in my life.

Technique: Do you have other favorite sports that you like to watch at Tech?

Frerking: Football and baseball. I know a lot of the football and baseball guys, so I definitely support them. My family is really good friends with the Halls; Danny Halls is the head baseball coach. His son Carter is one of my really good friends; we went to school together, and he’s on the team now.