Not a Tiger Mom, but a Cougar Daughter

Posted on 27. Apr, 2012 by in LCA News

SANTA MONICA — Off she goes to Washington.

Lighthouse senior Kate Sommer, who led girls’ volleyball to semifinals this year, was recruited with a two-year scholarship to Washington State University, a top-flight volleyball school.

“Of all the books in the Bible, I admire Job the most,” said Sommer, the baby of six kids of the Lighthouse Church’s associate pastor. “I admire him for his resilience, his fear of God, his respect for God. He totally inspires me on the court. You can be going through enormous trials, but if you stay faithful, you can become far greater than if you crumble when issues come up.”

“Enormous trials” came up this year as Lighthouse Christian Academy girls’ volleyball team was nearly licked in early playoffs. They lost two games and teetered on the brink of elimination. Instead, the girls rallied and won the next three games.

Sommer led Lighthouse, which with only 50 students has a reduced talent pool. The school cobbles together a hodge-podge of girls and then drills them into fierce champions. In 2004 and ’05, they were CIF Southern Section Champs, under leadership of her older sister, Stephanie, who also was recruited out of high school for Division 1 volleyball at Cal State Fullerton.

Sommer also plays on a club team, where she applied leadership skills as team captain, motivator and guardian of unity. “In the heat of the game, the competitive girls want to win, and it’s easier to point the finger than take the blame,” she said. “But it’s important to keep the spirit of the team because you’re not going to succeed unless you play together.”

At an unimposing 5’4”, Sommer’s strength lives in her speed and agility. She was named all CIF three times and the Coastal League’s most valuable twice. At the Sunshine Volleyball Club, she has competed at the Junior Olympics for the past five years.

“Kate is a great defensive player,” said Cougar Head Coach Jen Greeny in a Washington State University website article. “She has high energy and will bring a lot of passion and enthusiasm to this team. She has an absolutely wonderful character. We are really excited to have Kate join the program, and she will be able to make an impact.”

Kate will play libero for the Cougars, who are in PAC12 conference, one of the top in the nation.

Sommer credits her success to the underpinnings in her Christian education. For her entire academic career, she has attended LCA, and its feeder institution, Lighthouse Church School, just a few blocks away.

“I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Sommer said. “I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. This school has really shaped who I am and been a support system. It has helped me grow academically and mature.”

With an omnipresent smile and an outgoing demeanor, Sommer is leader in the classroom also. When a foreign student last year was resistant to the gospel, Sommer won her over with her friendliness. Leena Koivusalo, visiedt LCA in March from Finland.

Sommer’s dad is Pastor Harrison, a lawyer whose wit and wisdom have been a stabilizing force for years, along side of General Pastor Rob Scribner, at the Lighthouse Church. Her mom is the undiscourageable and indefatigable Pam, high school teacher, prayer warrior, church playwright, and first-rate worker bee.

“My mom works hard at everything she does,” Sommer said. “She’s passionate about everything she does. I’ve always seen that in her, and I try to implement that example in my life. I work hard at what I do.”

With such powerful Christian parents and a long line of older brothers and sisters in front of her, Sommer has the ingredients for success. She is the first LCA student to earn a sports scholarship straight from high school.

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