Collegiate sports teams change year to year — players graduate, injuries occur, students transfer. In order to keep a strong dynamic, coaches may search high and low for incoming freshmen with the utmost potential. However, star athletes aren’t that hard to find.
“It was easy with Lucy because she was in town, so it wasn’t like we had to search the country side for her,” said Matt Buttermore Hastings College women’s volleyball coach.
Lucy Skoch, graduate of St. Cecilia High School in Hastings, Nebraska, is one of 11 freshmen on the HC women’s volleyball team. Coming in at 6’2”, this Bronco is front and center on the court, as she is one of the starting middle hitters on the Bronco varsity team.
Buttermore said finding a middle was an emphasis this year because key player Logan Drueppel graduated in May; the other starting middle, Andrea LaVene, is a senior.
It was between HC and University of Kansas for Skoch, but she said that when she visited HC, she fell in love with campus.
“I chose here because it feels like home; I’ve been here my whole life,” Skoch said.
She made her decision before the team won the national championship last year, so she says that was just the “cherry on top.”
Skoch’s high school team made it to state all four years, and won the NSAA Class C-2 State Championship her freshman and junior year so she was prepared to play college volleyball. However, she was not sure where she would stand on the team.
“Coming in, I actually didn’t expect to be starting, but coach told us to always be on our best instinct and compete because there are 31 girls so you have to do your best all of the time. I have just been trying to do that,” Skoch said.
According to Skoch, all of her teammates are very nice and supportive; they want each other to do their best. Buttermore believes she isn’t only a skilled asset to the team, but a fun addition as well.
“She’s not quiet; she can be pretty loud and outgoing.”
In regards to what can be the daunting transition into college, Skoch seems to be doing well. She says classes are going really well, and she likes that she has multiple things to focus on and balance her time between.
“I didn’t just play volleyball in high school. I also played basketball and ran track, so I was just as busy,” Skoch said.
Even though she isn’t planning on playing three sports at the collegiate level, joining and starting for a reigning national champion team holds similar weight.
The women’s volleyball team is 8-0 on the season and working toward a repeat of last year with the help of all of the players, including Skoch.