By: Aly Durban, Bulldog Blitz
Lauren Deaton is 19 kills away from becoming Samford volleyball’s all-time kill leader.
Deaton joined the Samford Bulldogs in 2018 as one of three other freshmen. She immediately became an impact player for the Bulldogs.
Deaton has many awards and accolades, including the SoCon’s 2018 Freshman of the Year, SoCon’s 2021 Most Valuable Player, SoCon’s 2021 Player of the Year, first team all-SoCon, second team all SoCon and honorable mention for the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s All American. Even after all these achievements, she says she isn’t done yet.
“I have very high expectations for myself and set the standard very high for my play,” said Deaton.
Lauren Deaton has been in a gym since she was in third grade. It didn’t matter what sport it was for and that helped her commitment to the game immensely.
That commitment is what led her to this point, 19 kills away from breaking Samford’s all-time kills’ record.
“Just being in the same conversation as those girls is crazy to me,” Deaton said. “I looked up to them when I came here and now, I’m up there with them.”
Deaton knew how intimidating it would be coming in as a freshman fighting for playing time and eventually receiving it, but she never felt out of place on the court. When on the court as an underclassman, Deaton looked to players like Kelsi Hobbs and Krista Boesing and tried to model her play and leadership after them.
Deaton hopes after all the work she’s put in over the last five years, she’s able to leave a legacy and impact behind. She hopes not only to break records but leave her mark on the other women she’s been able to play with the last five years.
Deaton has pushed not only herself to be better, but everyone around her including Samford’s libero Kate Morgan.
“Watching her get so close to breaking this record is like a proud little sister moment,” Morgan said. “She’s so deserving and works so hard.”
Morgan and others say Deaton’s legacy will help them learn to lead as they step into leadership roles this spring after Deaton graduates.
Deaton hopes to break the record in the Bulldog’s home opener against Clemson University. They play Friday, September 16 at 6 p.m. at the Pete Hanna Center.