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Ohio University outside hitter Lauren Park prepares to hit the ball in a game against Ball State in Athens, Ohio on October 19, 2019. (FILE)

Volleyball: Lauren Park reaches milestones in loss against Ball State

On the first play of set two during Ohio’s match against Ball State on Thursday, junior outside hitter Lauren Park got set on the 10-foot line, took her approach, swung and landed the ball on the other side of the court like she had done so many other times that night. 

Only this time, it was different. 

This time, Park had earned her 100th kill of the season. That milestone comes after just eight matches.

“I’m happy for her success, but I’m proud of her work,” coach Deane Webb said. “The work creates these types of moments.”

It was a special moment for Park, and despite Ohio’s 3-2 loss (27-25, 25-21, 13-25, 26-28, 11-15) to Ball State, she had an unforgettable night. 

Not only did Park earn her 100th kill of the season, she also scored a career high 28 kills in a single match on Thursday. Park finished with a hitting percentage of .292.

“I think it was one of the better outside hitter performances that I’ve seen in this gym in the last seven years,” Webb said. “It was truly impressive. There were times when she was in the front row attacking that she looked almost unstoppable out there. She had really good rhythm.” 

In her sophomore season, Park played in 21 matches, racking up a total of 147 kills. The most kills she had in a single match last season was 13. This season, Park averages just under 15 kills per match and has already racked up 119 kills not even halfway through the schedule. 

“She’s someone that is so much more athletic this year, so much more physical,“ Webb said. “(She) can do so many more things than what she could do a year ago.” 

Although Park is happy with her performance against the Cardinals (6-5, 6-5 Mid-American Conference), she is already looking forward to continuing the momentum in Friday’s rematch.  

“As happy as I am and proud of myself as I am for how I played today, it’s got to transfer into tomorrow,” Park said. “I’m more determined to come back stronger as a team tomorrow.”

Park will get a chance to top her career night Friday in the Convo in the second game against Ball State. 

@molly_burchard8

mb712319@ohio.edu

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