Sophomore outside hitter, Lauren Ohlinger is not an ordinary Boise State student-athlete for the volleyball team. At her high school in Phoenix, she was a two-time all conference, one-time honorable mention and a Metro West Conference Player of the Year.
Ohlinger was also captain for the Scottsdale Christian Academy Eagles varsity volleyball team, which was coached by her mother Kim Ohlinger.
Since coming to Boise State in 2019, her academic pedigree as a student-athlete has spoken for itself with a 3.8 GPA, during both her freshman year at Boise State, as well as at Scottsdale Christian Academy.
This has earned her 2019’s Mountain West Freshman of the year and Academic All-Mountain West Freshman of the year.
“Winning Freshman of the Year is definitely my biggest accomplishment of last year,” Ohlinger said. “That is something that I’m definitely most proud of.”
Last year, the Boise State women’s volleyball team finished with 18 wins and 12 losses led by a rotation of mostly freshman and sophomore students. Besides her accomplishments academically, last year Ohlinger recorded 329 kills, 29 serve aces and 260 digs.
Head Coach Shawn Garus has been with Boise State women’s volleyball team for 11 years. Garus noted that Ohlinger was “checking all the boxes” during the recruitment process. Garus was impressed with how Ohlinger played on the court, but was also thrilled with her as a person off the court.
“Ohlinger played for a club called Arizona Storm that was competing year-in and year-out for a national championship, and she was always a starting player on that team,” Garus said. “When you’re looking at a kid, who’s six foot three and has good talent, the other variables are, ‘Is she in a development area? Is she playing for a good team, with good coaches that are going to push her?’ and she was absolutely checking all the boxes.”
According to outside hitter and libero Allison Casillas, Ohlinger is not only a good teammate, but she has taken on a leadership role this year as well.
Casillas also began playing for Boise State volleyball in 2019. As a freshman, she recorded 351 digs, 13 service aces and 74 assists.She commented on how great it has been to see Ohlinger take on a leadership role.
“She’s a leader by example,” Casillas said. “There are some leaders who can talk loud, lead the team by motivation, but she takes action and she’ll just have the team follow her with whatever she does.”
When Ohlinger came and visited the Boise State campus, she knew that it was the right fit for her, not only as a player, but as a student as well.
“I had visited a lot of other colleges before I had chosen Boise State, like University of San Diego and University of Utah, but I think just coming here and meeting the team, and everything with the school just seemed bright,” Ohlinger said. “I think that my coaches were really invested in me, always wanted to watch me play, and they care about me more as a person than a player which I really liked.”
Ohlinger is still undecided on her plans after college, but considers living in Boise as one of the best options.
“I’m still not really sure what I want to do after college, but I can see myself staying in Boise,” Ohlinger said. “After being here for about a year, I definitely see how great it is, but I also love Arizona too.”
With the upcoming season, Ohlinger thinks that the Boise State women’s volleyball team is capable of winning the Mountain West conference this year.