The Season: Ole Miss Volleyball – Lauren Bars Profile

Colorful personalities are something that is not lacking on this team. There are many words you can use to describe sophomore setter Lauren Bars. Spontaneous. Energy. Smiling, that – she never stops smiling. She’s got a smile on her face, a typical thing for her. Bars with the attack to tie things up at 11. Bivens goes cross court a diving effort from Purcell and then there’s Lauren Bars slamming it home. She cuts her eyes right at the last second, right before she tips that ball over, you can see her cut her eyes. Bars forced to chase it down and she’ll put it down. I always try to bring so much energy for the team because I think it helps the other teammates know that, like, I’m confident in them and they should be confident in me and that like – volleyball’s exciting so we should have a lot of fun, we should be smiling out there. And I swear that like really helps our team win games. Almost no matter what the situation, that young lady is always smiling. She’s a joy to coach. Having that positive energy out there helps us move on and like slide out really quick. It’s calming having her, just because I know, like she’s going to make the right decision and I think she just does a really good job with that. When you have a setter that’s running the show out on the court, the players can look to her and she’s got that smile and it’s almost like everything’s going to be okay. That contagious energy was developed in a home full of big time athletes. In my family my dad played football at Notre Dame and my mom she swam at Michigan State. And my oldest brother Brad, he went to Penn State, played football there, and then he went to the Giants for two years. And then Blake is my second oldest brother and he played at Michigan football. And then my third oldest brother, he played at Notre Dame, he still plays there for football. So, um I also have some other family members involved and that’s my immediate family. I don’t know that you’ll find a whole lot of families with a better bloodline than that. And again, I think that leads a lot to her competitiveness and her composure under pressure. She wants to win and it’s in her blood because that’s what she’s grown up with and that’s what she knows. So, I think that really helps bleed into our team a lot. We talked about it before too, she comes from a family with a pedigree for college athletics, both parents playing, siblings playing in college, seeing a little bit of her just athletic IQ there. Bars to Warnell, blocked. Two hand push by Bars, another kill for Lauren Bars. That’s three on the night. She’s gotten to see big-time athletics for a long period of time and so her blood runs thick when it comes to the athleticism, the competitiveness part of it. They’re are just so humble I think too, like they’re all these like big-time athletes and she’s come from that and she also is the exact same way and just the same kind of competitor as they are. Growing up with three brothers, all football players, instilled all the humbleness and toughness Bars would ever need. Super competitive in our family. Everybody thought my brothers would probably beat me up or anything, but they hugged me all the time. They were the cutest ones to me. But, yeah super competitive. We have so many like – even like games nights or like flag football, like anything related we’re always competitive with each other. Having all of them play Division I sports, like her entire life, she’s just grown up only knowing that and only knowing how to compete. Oh I’m sure having brothers and a dad that played football, I’m sure they were a little rough with her growing up. That toughness would be tested in the third set of a match against Memphis when Bars would take an inadvertent elbow to the face. Murrhee right side, Flowers one hand dig by Mulkey. Confusion on the Ole Miss sideline. As Lauren Bars is down. I was going up for the second ball, because I’m a setter, so we always get second ball. But, it was coming tight to the net, kind of in the middle blocker’s position. So, naturally like I would try to go up for it, but once the middle comes in it’s kind of like a free for all, anyone can get it. I totally understand why she would go up for it, she was just trying to get the play done. And I went up there, and we went up with different timings and she elbowed me as I was still going up and she was coming down. And I got 20 stiches, it just split right open and just like fell to the ground. And she was fine at first until she like saw the blood. And once she like sat down and everything was like calm, I knew that she was going to be back soon. She’s pretty tough, so. It was scary because Lauren is such a crucial part of our team. She’s – she touches like every, every play of the game. She was ready to get back on the court right after it happened. She’s over on the sideline and her lip’s filleted wide open and it’s obvious she’s going to have to go to the emergency room to get stiches and she’s asking if she’s going to be able to come back in. So I got off the court and I was like, can I go back in? Like, is that possible? And they’re like, no, no you need stiches. I was like, oh, okay. I just had no idea. I was just like, ah it’s probably, put a Band-Aid on it or something. I really was just numb. With her toughness unquestioned, she would be able to return to the Rebels playing some of the best volleyball in her career. Posting a career high 51 assists against LSU, the sky is the limit. Bars pushing outside, there’s Stroup now. Off the hands, good for a tool kill. Mulkey, here’s Bars back one to Warnell, off of Paige Hammons for a kill. Purcell on the receive, Bars outside, Stroup huge kill. If she keeps improving the way that she does, it may not show up on the stat line as far as like, leaving here as the all-time leader in assists or anything like that, but I think she’ll go down as one of the best setters that’s ever come through here. She’s always that person coming in multiple times a day for extra reps. She’s always here trying to make her hitters better. If she keeps doing what she’s doing, like she can just keep pushing the boundaries. I think she’s going to do a great job, she already has and I think she’ll continue to do that. Volleyball wise, I just want to be the best player I can be, it doesn’t even mean about making records. I feel like I’m just really a team player and I really want to make everyone else shine as well; you know? Because I mean I am a setter so you just want to make the plays available for everyone else and really create a legacy for myself as well as the team. So, just put Ole Miss on the map.

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