For Pitman High School volleyball star Lauren Hamilton finding a college that offered both a quality volleyball program and a cosmetology school was admittedly a challenge. When interest came from Utah State University Eastern, it was a match made in heaven.
“I’m really thankful for this opportunity to attend this specific college because not only do they have an amazing volleyball program, but I get to do what I love,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton’s mother, Krissy, explained how finding the combination of location, hobby and sports made for an interesting recruiting process.
“Lauren wanted to go to Utah and that was one of her big things when looking for a school. But she always kept telling me, ‘I don’t know what I want to do in college, I want to play volleyball.’ I kept saying that she needed to go to college if she wanted to play volleyball in college,” she said. “I’m a hairstylist and she really wanted to go to cosmetology school and be a hairstylist also, and I always thought that you either go to cosmetology school or play volleyball in college. Well low and behold, Lauren found the one school in Utah that has a cosmetology school and a volleyball team, and they’re an amazing team too. To be able to do both of her dreams, we’re just so thrilled for her.”
A four-year varsity star standing at 6-foot-2, some of Hamilton’s career accolades include being named CCAL Offensive Player of the Year for 2022, First-Team All-CCAL in 2021 and helping lead the Pride to back-to-back CCAL titles the last two season.
According to Pitman head volleyball coach Kristen Pontes-Christian, Hamilton’s dominance, especially during her junior and senior seasons, had colleges from across the country calling, including Utah State Eastern. Pontes-Christian praised Hamilton’s growth on and off the court that led to this point.
“When I first saw Lauren walking the halls, she definitely stands out with her height, but she wasn’t standing tall. As she got older and more confident, especially in the sport of volleyball, she stands tall now and she makes her presence known on the court,” she said. “I’m just so proud of her. She has worked so, so hard and has improved so much. I loved coaching her and loved having her family in the program. We’re going to miss her, but we know she’s going to be doing amazing things.”
In a crowded Pitman High library, Hamilton made sure to show the appreciation to those who helped her on her journey.
“I just want to say thank you to all my coaches I’ve had over the past years. I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am skill wise or person wise without them. And to my friends for always encouraging me and just being the best humans ever. And of course, my family for always supporting me,” she said. “I’m really just so thankful.”