By Tori Scribner, LCA Sophomore
If you talk to Kaitlin Lavelle’s coach, a volleyball scholarship looms in her future. But if you talk to the LCA junior herself, she never imagined playing the sport.
“I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have played sports had I gone to another school,” Kaitlin said. “I’m not coordinated or athletic, but I was tall, so they forced me to be on the team.”
With only 50 students, Lighthouse gives you a chance (“forces you”) to play a team sport. With Christian character as its cornerstone, Lighthouse forms champions out of its minuscule talent pool.
Thus “forced” into volleyball the 5’11” tower became a “force” to be reckoned with as middle blocker on the LCA girls volleyball team. The Saints played 17-4 and finished third in CIF Southern Section in 2011.
Not only is Kaitlin tall, she is also brave. I should know. I crashed into her and fell on her ankle during CIF playoffs. Her face showed the pain. She limped but kept playing. She refused to go off because her team needed her.
“There was no time to nurse my injury,” she said. “Not until the next morning when I tried to stand up out of bed and I fell down, did I realize how bad it was.”
Kaitlin played the rest of the season, with a brace, ankle wrapped, taking medicine for the pain and still struggling with pain. Only now, after six months, can she jog again.
Sports became important for Kaitlin. “I have never really been the best at anything or an asset to a team,” she said. “But in volleyball I saw that I could win. I really wanted to win, both for myself and for my teammates who were seniors.”
She has gone from indifferent to intensely competitive.
“At first she wasn’t interested in playing,” said Coach Emily Hamilton. “But she worked relentlessly. She is so competitive and so willing to listen. She’s always a threat to the opponents.”
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