Seymour’s Knieriem takes home armful of volleyball awards


Lauren Knieriem didn’t make many mistakes this Seymour volleyball season, but her planning strategy was off for last week’s Owls team awards ceremony.

Knieriem neglected to rent a truck. That made it a challenge to carry home all of the plaques, citations and remembrances the senior won.

Halfway through the event in the Seymour High School auditorium, it was joked she should have brought a shopping bag. Then as the last souvenir of the night, she received a framed collage of special team volleyball moments, and it came in a shopping bag. Perfect.

Knieriem could only laugh at how that turned out.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

As a senior, she got to say a few words to her teammates and others in the audience, and Knieriem spoke of how “supporting, caring and loving” the Owls were.

Seymour finished 16-16 this season. The Owls were hoping for better, but they were blindsided by the COVID-19 pandemic to start the year, sidelined and quarantined with matches postponed and the schedule juggled.

The season began in shock and ended in tears, but for very different reasons.  The crying at the end was not about players feeling sorry for themselves but about how much they would miss each other.

Maggie Connell, another senior, needed some tissues to get through her planned talk, dabbing at her eyes as she spoke of how Seymour battled injuries and the virus and “overcame.” Overcoming adversity was the theme of the year for coach Angie Lucas and her players.

“It was very different this season,” Connell said.

Recent months and the present day have been and are very different for the whole world, not just high school sports in Indiana, not just the sports world, but for the planet Earth.

Lucas surely hopes this is the only season of her career when one of her watchword phrases is, “Pass the hand sanitizer.”

Indeed, while standing in front of her troops in the auditorium, Lucas tossed out one last pitch for conscientious health care.

“Since I won’t be there to remind you to wash your hands,” she said.

Lucas would admit the coronavirus was on her mind all season after the campaign began in such a funky fashion. She was vigilant in guarding against a quarantine recurrence while trying to coax the Owls to full potential while overcoming their diminished practice and conditioning time.

By season’s end, she thought Seymour was pretty darned good and picked off some mighty fine victories to savor. Wins over Columbus North, Bedford North Lawrence and New Albany in the first round of the sectional stood out late.

“They know who we are now,” Lucas said of spreading Seymour’s reputation.

The only Owl with a four-year varsity award was manager Zach Thompson, brother to the sisterhood. Kierstyn Ellis received a three-year varsity award. Joining Knieriem in obtaining a two-year varsity award were Connell, Alisha Busby, Olivia Fish, Cali Cummings and Addi Lemon.

Paige Lawrence, Breanna Lawrence, Val Ramirez, Lucy Caudill, Mackenzie Waskom, Sidney Allman, Sydney Montgomery, Journee Brown and Katherine Veatch were one-year varsity award recipients.

Owls winning major awards were Lemon, serving award, 93.8%; Fish, hitting award, 245 kills; Paige Lawrence, assist award, 470 assists; and Montgomery, most improved. Connell was honorable mention all-Hoosier Hills Conference.

Knieriem won the defensive award with 291 digs.  She won the Laura Culp Mental Attitude Award, voted on by the team and coaches and was all-Hoosier Hills Conference, academic all-state and the team’s most valuable player.

Knieriem has played volleyball basically since first grade and her parents were coaching the game. She plans to attend Spalding University in Louisville and has the opportunity to continue competing there but is not certain she will play.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I might want to be a full-time student.”

Or she might yet choose to stick with the game in Kentucky.

All of the awards collected at the ceremony were scheduled to be hung in her bedroom.

“I like looking at them,” Knieriem said.

Such gazing at the decorations may inspire her to keep up the kills, assists and digs in college.

No posts to display