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Lauren Hurst, Cleveland sophomore – Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year in Tennessee

We were joined by Amy McGowen, Lauren Hurst, Addison Hurst and Kinslee McGowen to talk about the Best of Preps award nominations. Follow Cleveland High School volleyball online at https://www.facebook.com/chsblueraiders/

 

Lauren Hurst has been named Gatorade’s 2022-23 volleyball player of the year for Tennessee.

In her sophomore year of high school, Lauren Hurst has achieved many noteworthy accomplishments for the first time.

After her pivotal role in assisting Cleveland to gain its first ever TSSAA team state title in girls’ sports, she was rewarded with a prestigious individual recognition for her remarkable display of power in volleyball.

Friday saw Gatorade bestowing the 2022-23 volleyball player of the year award on Hurst, in acknowledgment of her astonishing leadership that steered the Lady Blue Raiders to an astounding 49-5 overall record in the fall. This was complemented by a clean sweep of all 27 of the team’s postseason sets, culminating in the championship.

Standing 6-foot-2, the outside hitter, who also earned second team MaxPreps.com All-American honors, had an impressive season with 647 kills, 354 digs, 94 aces, and 61 blocks, to go along with an impressive .438 kill percentage when attacking. Joining her in the standout lineup were seniors Addison Hurst (Lauren’s sister, 5-foot-9 outside hitter) and setter Kinslee McGowan.

Hurst exclaimed her delight and amazement upon learning of her award after her weightlifting class on Friday. “It’s truly incredible to be able to accomplish something like this at such a young age,” she said, referring to her sophomore year.

My success is a result of the relentless dedication of my coaches, Amy McGowan and Daniel Millsaps, and the inspiration of my team. My sister Addison and star setter Kinslee were particularly instrumental in the enhancement of my skills, and with their assistance, I have achieved the level of success I have today.

In the Class AAA state final, the Hurst sisters contributed a total of 45 kills to the 3-0 victory over Collierville at Siegel High School on Oct. 21.

Gatorade’s announcement of the award declared that it “acknowledges the extraordinary athletic achievements of the student-athletes, as well as their academic accomplishments and moral integrity on and off the court”. In addition to her athletic successes, Lauren also has a 3.75 GPA and has given back to the community by being a youth volleyball coach and aiding in various services at her local church, as stated in the announcement.

The award has been given to three athletes from the Chattanooga area, the most recent being Hurst, who is the first Cleveland volleyball player to receive it. Shadrick, a senior from GPS in 2007-08, and Gray, a sophomore from Baylor in 2014-15, were the two other honorees from the region.

This month, Hurst is a contender for Gatorade’s national award for volleyball, with the announcement of the recipient coming soon.

The Lady Patriots from Cleveland advanced to the state tournament following their victory over Oakland from Murfreesboro, who had a 28-6 record. Coach Avei Logoleo was particularly impressed with Hurst’s performance as they “were unstoppable in the sectional match and everywhere else on the court,” according to the press release.

Logoleo exclaimed his awe for her court-sight and execution, noting how she could rotate between hitting outside and the middle, going back row to play defense, yet still managing to put the ball away with strong attacks.

Hurst has been highly sought after by various NCAA Division I teams to join them as a volleyball and basketball recruit.

Volleyball has drawn attention from a considerable number of colleges, including Tennessee, Western Kentucky, Virginia, Auburn, Kansas, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Purdue, Liberty, Texas Tech, South Carolina, Southern California, Kentucky, and Louisville. On the other hand, she has received basketball offers from Wake Forest, Murray State, Furman, Marshall, Tennessee Tech, Presbyterian, and Western Carolina.

She has a lot to look forward to in her remaining time in high school after having a very successful sophomore volleyball season.

This year has had a special significance for everyone. We entered with the attitude that we wouldn’t give away a single match, Hurst noted. We achieved a milestone for the school, winning the state team title for girls for the first time, and it was incredible doing that with my sister. Especially since it was her final year. Being able to rejoice with her was remarkable and something I will never forget.

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