DONIPHAN – When you are a 6-foot-1 volleyball player at a Class C-2 school, you’re pretty hard to miss.
For Doniphan-Trumbull’s junior Lauren Hinrichs, however, the fear was that being at a small high school would mean she might miss out on the chance to play big-time college volleyball. As of last night, that’s no longer the case.
Hinrichs, who played this past club season for Nebraska Juniors 161, gave her verbal to play collegiately at Wichita State. Hinrichs was a fast-rising middle in the recruiting world this summer, which helped her go from small school to Division I volleyball.
“It’s really hard to get noticed when you’re in a town of 800 people,” Hinrichs said. “Nobody from my school that I know of has gone somewhere big to play.”
As a sophomore last season at Doniphan-Trumbull, Hinrichs tallied 276 kills and 39 total blocks. Then in January of this year, she partially tore her MCL in three places playing basketball – which put her on the shelf for six weeks. That meant the start of her club season at Nebraska Juniors was slow.
However, week after week Hinrichs continued to get stronger and better and attracted the attention of a lot of major programs. She said her final three school choices were Wichita State, Colorado State and Arizona State. She visited all three schools and participated at their camps and ultimately felt like Wichita was the right place to be.
“(Wichita State) said I was their top (2016) recruit and that they would love to have me there,” Hinrichs said. “They were really flattering whenever they talked to me.
“Wichita had a homey feeling to me. Coach Lamb and (his wife and Shocker Director of Operations) Shannon are so nice. They really took me in like one of their own. I didn’t feel that way at any other place.”
Hinrichs said Wichita State first made contact with her after seeing her play in Houston at the JVA World Challenge. They remained in contact with her all club season and even came to Hastings to watch Hinrichs compete in a team camp last week.
Hinrichs gave a lot of credit to past high school coach Thera Jones and current Doniphan-Trumbull coach Gina Sitch as well as Nebraska Juniors coaches Ryan Gray, Mike Brandon and Gwen Egbert for helping her in her development.
Lincoln Southwest’s Allie Davis, also from the 2016 class, gave her verbal to Wichita State at the end of July and the Shockers also have 2014 Grand Island graduate McKenzie Fyfe as a freshman this season.
Hinrichs becomes the sixth known member of Nebraska’s Class of 2016 to make a college commitment, joining Davis, Lincoln North Star’s Sarah Allick (Nebraska), Omaha Marian’s Brittany Witt (Creighton), Papillion-LaVista South’s Raegan LeGrand (USC) and Gretna’s Amanda Young (Colorado State). All six of the players competed for Nebraska Juniors this club season.