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It’s been a record-setting volleyball career for Berks Christian School graduate Lauren Heliger at Lancaster Bible College. The senior outside hitter has made been a huge impact on the Chargers over the past four seasons.
In 2011 as a junior, Heliger set a school record with 469 digs, then shattered that record this season with 589 digs. But don’t ask her any details of the moment she set the new record. She didn’t even realize she did it.
“Still, it means a lot to me,” said Heliger. “The record basically means to me that I finally was playing defense the way I was taught. I stayed on my toes and anticipated every hit before it happened.
“Honestly, I don’t feel like it (her college volleyball career) could have gone any better. I’ve been blessed with awesome teammates and a great coach who has really developed me into a versatile player.”
She is also second onthe team in kills this season with 381 of them. Last year she had 369 kills which was second highest in school history.
Her favorite memory from her time on the Lancaster Bible College women’s volleyball team came in her sophomore season when the Chargers competed in the NCCAA National Championships.
“We were a small team with only nine players, but we made it and it was a blast,” said Heliger.
Lauren has been playing volleyball since sixth grade. She continued to play throughout high school where she was a standout star for the Berks Christian School Lions. It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the sport.
“It’s just a fun sport,” said Lauren. “I like how quick it is and how much of a team sport it is. I also just love the scrappiness of it as well. It’s a great sport.”
Whast does she remember most about her time on the Berks Christian School girls’ volleyball team?
“I remember being a pretty solid team on the court, but the family aspect of it is what I really remember,” said Heliger. “The fact that we were all really close, and could have a good time anywhere we went is what I really cherish.”
After high school, she didn’t need much adjustment time to play the college game. During her freshman season at LBC, she started all 32 matches and was named to the NCCAA East Region second team. She had 201 kills and 229 digs. Not a bad start for a freshman.
“I wouldn’t say it (the transition from high school for college volleyball) was necessarily difficult - just different,” said Heliger.
“The fact that I played with the same people for about six years madt it tough to play with a new team, but I adjusted quickly. The college game is also faster, but honestly I enjoy a much faster paced game.”
During her sophomore season Heliger played in all 40 of LBC’s matches, recording a team-high 462 digs and was third on the team with 311 kills.
She was named to the NCAA All-Independent second team and the NCCAA East Region second team.
Then she really broke out with a great season as a junior. After setting a school digs record, she was named to the All-NEAC First Team, then in the winter she was named to the Women’s Basketball All-NEAC First Team. She was the first person in NEAC history to be on two separate NEAC first teams.
“It’s an honor,” said Heliger about being named to both teams. “I’m truly blessed to be able to play both sports and I love them both. I’m also extremely blessed that I excell at both. They are two different sports that are my passion.”
Lauren is a health and physical education major and hopes to get involved in a profession that allows here to continue in athletics - teaching, coaching or personal training. “I want to stay in shape and be active in sports, even after I graduate.”