Lauren Horton, Earlham’s head volleyball coach, first saw Lauren Jackson play in high school.
At the end of a nine-hour drive in the car.
Unable to see the Tonganoxie, Kansas, native play during the volleyball season, Horton drove nine hours to see her play basketball, followed by a “pick up” volleyball game with her teammates after the hoops game was over. She had seen plenty of video on Jackson and Earlham really, really needed a setter. Horton, a former All-American setter herself during her playing days at I.U.-East, recognized the goods when she saw them and made the trek to Kansas.
It was, Horton acknowledged, a little bit of a case of this-is-how-bad-I-want-to-see-you-in-my-lineup that led her to make the trip.
“She was aggressive, she was able to switch the flow of the game, and she spread her offense out,” recalled Horton.
Heading into her senior season in Maroon and White, Jackson has lived up to all that Horton hoped for – and more. Jackson is currently second among Earlham career assists leaders with 3,110, and is only 305 away from owning the record outright. She already has the Quakers’ single-season assists mark with 1,137, set last season.
“Lauren has blossomed into an aggressive collegiate player,” said Horton, who said Jackson’s competitive fire may be her greatest asset on the court. “You have to be structured, methodical, and competitive to be a setter,” explained Horton, “because every point of every set matters.”
A few minutes with Lauren Jackson:
What attracted you to Earlham College?
I was attracted to Earlham for its small class size and student to professor ratio. Earlham also drew me in for its outstanding study abroad programs!
What’s the best class you’ve taken so far at Earlham?
Cradle and Grave is one of my favorite classes at Earlham and then Motivation is right behind it. These two courses have taught me a lot about the human body and how much we are capable of.
Are you involved with any other clubs/organizations here on campus?
I have been apart of the LIFT program here on campus. This program has allowed me to connect with other first-generation students who may be going through similar things. I am also part of SAAC and a couple of other smaller clubs throughout the year.
What are you hoping to do after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to take a semester off of school to work at an internship in the medical field and then hopefully in January attend the University of Washington to pursue a career as a CRNA.
How has being a student-athlete shaped your Earlham experience?
Being a student-athlete has only made my Earlham experience better. I have been able to engage in the Richmond community more, become stronger academically, and create life-lasting relationships.
What has been your most memorable moment as an athlete since arriving at Earlham?
My most memorable moment was my sophomore year playing Manchester. We came back from a 0-2 deficit to win the first-ever conference game in Earlham history.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Marianne Williamson
What cartoon character would be your sidekick? (and explain why…)
Baymax 100%. I have always loved helping people and having a sidekick that can do what Baymax does would only speed up that process.
What four teammates would you want on your Family Feud team? (and explain why…)
Abbey Zanatta: She is quick on her feet and thinks outside of the box.
Sarah Dickman: She’s realistic and would be able to get the most obvious answers that you may not think of.
Giselle Mora: For some reason, this girl thinks of everrryythinngg. She’s outgoing and would be the support our team needs.
Tyrique Richardson: I don’t know if he would even be good, but it would be funny and that’s all that matters.
If you could pick someone to play you in a movie, who would it be? (and explain why…)
Jennifer Lawrence. This girl embodies everything I want to be and more. I feel like she could best portray my lifestyle in a funny and captivating way.
Your “go to” karaoke song?
Recently it has definitely been “Good as Hell” by Lizzo, but for a classic, I stick with Ms. Jackson by Outkast.
Who is someone who has impacted your career, or encouraged you when you thought about giving up? Could be coach, teacher, parent, friend, etc. – think of it this way: who would be the most important person you would want to thank in your Hall of Fame speech? Then, what advice did that individual give to you that made the most impact?
My mom, hands down. She has always been there for me every step of the way despite being states away. She makes it a priority to watch all my games either in person or through streaming.
The best advice I ever got from her is to always be there for the people you love. My mom embodies that advice and has shown me how impactful it really can be.