All-American Interview Series

MANHATTAN, Kan. - In the 33-year history of Kansas State volleyball, the Wildcats have had five All-Americans grace the floor of historic Ahearn Field House: Dawn Cady (1999), Liz Wegner (2000 and 2001), Lauren Goehring (2003), Gabby Guerre (2003) and Vali Hejjas (2004). The Kansas State Sports Information Office will look at what these five women have been doing since their playing days ended in a five-part summer interview series.

 

In the third of a five-part series, the Kansas State Sports Information Office contacted the only middle blocker in school history to earn All-American honors and the only Wildcat in school history to earn Big 12 Player of the Year honors, Lauren Goehring.

 

During her first-team All-American season of 2003, Goehring was the Big 12 Conference’s preseason and postseason player of the year and an AVCA All-Central Region first team selection. She led the Big 12 in hitting percentage at .405, which is the school record for a season. Kansas State head coach Suzie Fritz had this to say about her middle blocker:

 

            “Lauren is probably the best middle blocker in the history of Kansas State volleyball. She is a wonderful leader and truly epitomizes the term student-athlete.’”

 

At the conclusion of her four-year career at K-State in 2003, Goehring finished as the school’s all-time career leader in hitting percentage (.354) and the all-time leader in kills by a middle blocker with 1,212, which ranks seventh in school history. Her 380 career block assists ranks fourth all-time and her 2,591 career attacks ranks ninth. She also was named to the first team All-Big 12 and All-Central Region team in 2002 and was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

 

 

Kansas State Sports Information Dept. (KSUSID): Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. First, what have you been up to since graduating in May 2004 with a degree in management and operational management?

 

Lauren Goehring (LG): I actually graduated in December of 2004.  I took a job with Dexter Axle, Elkhart, Ind.  I worked in their management training program for a few months before a position opened up at one of their manufacturing facilities where I took a job in quality control.  I was waiting for my fianc to finish school at KSU, Coby Cost was a thrower on the track team.  He graduated in May 2006 and was offered a position with Hormel Foods in Rochelle, Ill.  We relocated to Rochelle after the wedding on July 1st, 2006.  I am currently a co-director in a new volleyball club called React located in Oregon, Ill.  I am coaching a 17 and under team this year.  I also am a sales rep for Pella Windows and Doors out of Rockford, Ill.

 

KSUSID: During the preseason workouts before the start of the 2003 season, did you have a feeling that, as a team, you were going to accomplish something great or did it feel like the other preseason workouts?

 

LG:  Other than my shoulder hurting more than normal, it felt like the other preseasons.  I don't remember having any overwhelming feelings that greatness was coming but I knew that I enjoyed my teammates and loved playing volleyball with them.  I also knew that I loved playing and that I had only a few precious months to enjoy the game I loved.

 

KSUSID: How were you and your teammates able to bond so well to win 30 matches and a Big 12 title in 2003? Have you stayed in contact with anyone off of that team?

 

LG: I think the biggest bonding element was the fact that we all wanted to win and enjoyed playing.  We also trusted and respected each other on the court.  Each person had to do their 'job' for us to accomplish what we did and we believed that each person would.  I don't stay in contact with some of my former teammates as well as I'd like, but it’s hard when you aren't all living in the same town anymore.

 

KSUSID: What was it like to step on the floor in Ahearn Field House during the Big 12 title season in 2003?

 

LG:  I loved playing in Ahearn.  I loved our fans.  I loved representing Kansas State.  I felt it was an honor to step out on the court everyday and play as a Wildcat and that season was wonderful and heartbreaking all at the same time as a senior. 

 

KSUSID: I am not sure if you know this, but you are the only Wildcat to ever earn Big 12 Player of the Year honors and the only middle blocker in school history to earn All-American honors. Looking back at these accomplishments, what do they mean to you?

 

LG:   I am very proud of what I accomplished as a Wildcat middle blocker.  I, of course, couldn't have accomplished it on my own. I am intrinsically motivated and grown more so as I have gotten older but each of my teammates and coaches helped push me to be a better player even though they probably don't know that at all.  Earning the honors above was incredible; I am so proud to be considered a player of that caliber.  And if I don't say that Coby was there for me too he is going to throw a fit in the kitchen. He was a great fan and there for me throughout my senior season.

 

KSUSID: Aside from your honors on the court, you were also a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and a 2003 Academic All-District VII pick. How were you able to succeed in the classroom during the busy schedule most student-athletes keep?

 

LG:  Time management skills are very important if you want to succeed in the classroom as well as on the court.  My mother and father never really accepted any effort less than my best.  Once I was in college they weren't checking on my grades anymore but why waste a free college education?

 

KSUSID: Was it difficult making the adjustment to life at Kansas State during your first year in Manhattan, especially being away from your hometown of Fort Worth, Texas?

 

LG:  Making the transition to college wasn't really difficult for me.  I haven't ever been afraid of being on my own and I already had friends since I was on the team.  Lisa Martin was a great roommate and the Jensens’ were across the hall so I was surrounded by people I enjoyed.  My family has relocated many times, so leaving Texas wasn't a big deal. We didn't have any family there and my parents moved to Indiana less than a month after my high school graduation. All of my friends were going to colleges out of state, so there was nothing left there for me.