PEARCY -- Lake Hamilton senior volleyball player Lanie Springer will be playing volleyball at the next level this fall, putting pen to paper on Wednesday at Wolf Arena to play at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
"I'm very excited," she said after signing. "It's been a dream since I was little. Like, I can't even remember how young. I've always wanted to play at the college level. And for it to actually happen is just unbelievable."
Springer, who plans to study nursing, said she really fell in love with the environment at the college in Bartlesville, Okla.
"It was very friendly. (Head coach Tracie Gillette) is very nice. You can tell they are a very hard-working team, which I appreciate. It was just a really welcoming environment. When I met the girls, they were all super, duper nice. I don't know, it just felt very homey," she said.
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Kristen Weigand, speaking on behalf of Lake Hamilton head volleyball coach Karen Smith, said it is always exciting to have a Lake Hamilton volleyball player sign a letter to continue playing at the next level, especially when it is a sport that they love. Springer, she said, has always had a passion for volleyball and it shows.
"First of all, it is very evident in her practices and in her games when she plays," she said. "Secondly, Lanie is a hard worker. She has played volleyball for six years now here at Lake Hamilton and always works hard every time she steps foot on the court. Her goal was to play at the next level and she knew that hard work would be a part of making that happen. She also puts in a lot of time outside of these walls here in the arena."
In addition to playing club volleyball, Springer also teaches private lessons. Weigand, reading from Smith's statement, said she is a very vocal leader on and off the court.
"She was a great senior this year, great leader in the locker room, on the court. It was very fun to watch. Her teammates relied on her and you could always rely on her to constantly be talking and being uplifting. So that was very encouraging to our girls," she said.
Playing volleyball, Springer said, has taught her the value of teamwork and how to effectively work with different people. She said she looks forward to being able to continue to grow at the next level this fall.
"Even with playing club ball and stuff, constantly playing with teammates from all across Arkansas and stuff, it's really just taught me how to make more friends, how to be more vocal, and how to be a better leader for any group that I'm playing with," she said.