By CLAIRE TOBIN
Caitlin Laurence is a defensive specialist libero for the Colorado College volleyball team. A libero is a player who has unique defensive skills. The libero wears a different jersey color than the rest of the team and is the only player who can sub in without notifying the officials. The livero is always chosen before matches or tournaments and remains the only libero for the entire duration of play.
Before attending CC, Laurence started off as an outside hitter, but upon recruitment she realized she was too short to play in the front row. Last year when Laurence was a freshman, she played in 23 matches for a total of 53 sets. She earned 32 digs, eight service aces, and four assists.
The most recent tournament for the Tigers was very successful, with Colorado College winning all four games, starting their season off 4-0. According to Laurence, “The team lost some sets we shouldn’t have lost, but we responded really well to the losses and came back to win the game.”
Laurence attributed the sweeping wins to how close the team is. “Everyone on the team does their best to take care of each other,” she said. There is a strong bond between the players as soon as the season starts because the team takes a preseason trip to the CC Cabin, and every three years they take a trip to the Caribbean together. These trips help bring the team closer and foster friendly relationships between teammates.
Laurence is originally from Davey, Fla., and has had some issues adjusting to the cold in Colorado. “At first I loved the cold and thought the snow was so cool,” Laurence said. “But five minutes into it I got super cold and was over it.”
Laurence loves playing beach volleyball, which is one thing she misses about home. Volleyball has been part of Laurence’s life since middle school. In middle school she played softball, but quickly took up volleyball when her neighborhood friends began playing. Intramural volleyball helped Laurence develop a love for the sport and gave her a competitive spirit.
One thing Laurence loves about Colorado College is “how genuine all the people here are.” She feels that everyone at Colorado College is down to earth, kind, and willing to help. With the block plan moving so quickly, there can be little room for error, and Laurence feels that students and professors are more than willing to extend a hand. A piece of advice she has for incoming freshmen is to have resilience. “At some point you’ll have a really tough block and it’s important to remember it will be over soon,” Laurence said. “Just push through.”
Though at times it can be difficult to balance the life of a collegiate athlete, student, and friend, Laurence adores volleyball, her team, and the love they bring every day.