Female Athlete of the Week: Lauren Budde

| Sports Reporter

Sophomore middle hitter Lauren Budde of the No. 3 Washington University women’s volleyball team has been saving her best performances of the year for the team’s biggest games. Last weekend, against No. 4 Emory University, she racked up 16 kills and zero errors on the attack, playing a key role in the Bears’ 3-0 victory. Her performances last weekend and throughout the entire season have earned her Student Life’s Female Athlete of the Week.

Student Life: As far as games you’ve ever had go, where does last Saturday’s performance against Emory rank?
Lauren Budde: It was definitely one of the top games I’ve played this year. I know that when I played Whitewater, I played pretty good as well, and I definitely say it compares to that match.

SL: You’re the only player on the team who averages double digits in both kills and digs. Which do you enjoy more: playing on the attack and going for kills, or playing back on defense and trying to save the ball?
LB: I definitely like digging better. I don’t know why, but it’s just more fun to be down on the ground and have the team huddle around and say, “Awesome, up!” and things like that, than getting a big kill.

SL: Since losing to Ohio Northern on Sept. 11, you guys haven’t lost a single match against a Division III team. Was that game a wake-up call of sorts for you guys?
LB: It definitely set off, to me, the fact that we still need to get better. This is what we’re going to be facing at regionals, and we can’t let down with anybody; we can’t expect to beat anybody.

SL: The team this year is primarily made of freshmen and sophomores, and you guys are still right in the national championship hunt. Have you at all stopped to think about how good this team could be in only a year or two?
LB: Right now we’re just worried about this year; there’s no need to really get ahead of ourselves. We want to win a national championship this year for the players who are on the team this year. We’ll have a good chance in the next couple of years as well.

SL: Talk about your relationship with head coach Rich Luenemann. Do you guys see him as more than just a coach?
LB: He’s definitely a person I can talk to if I need someone to talk to about other issues. He’s very understanding of all of our scheduling.

SL: Is there anything in particular that you have to do before a match?
LB: I usually listen to my iPod to get pumped up for a game. If I get a good country song, it gets me really excited to play.
Wash. U. hosts the Bears Classic II starting at 5:15 p.m. on Oct. 30 against North Park University in the Field House.

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