Most coaches in Division I would tell you that between the lines on the volleyball court, Concord High School’s Lauren Hatch is nearly impossible to stop. Concord Coach Jonathan Flower could tell you first-hand.
“Coaches, including myself, try to figure out what the tendencies are of other players and what’s the most likely thing they’re going to do and stack your defense in that area,” Flower said. “You just can’t do that against Lauren. She’ll rip it apart at will and it’s amazing to watch.”
A pivotal piece for the Crimson Tide over the last four years, Hatch will graduate this summer, but her footprint on the sport leaves behind a lasting legacy. The imposing 6-foot-1 middle hitter finished her career on a high note as Division I’s Player of the Year and a member of the All-State First Team.
But the long list of accolades hardly stops there.
Hatch is just the second player in state history to reach the 1,000 career kills mark and exerted her strength at the front of the net, too, finishing second all-time for career blocks with 142.5. In her final season, Hatch compiled a team-high 366 kills, hitting at a 40 percent rate with 50.5 blocks. The kills total was nearly 100 more than she recorded during her junior season (259) and her work at the service line (78 career aces) proved her to be one of the most versatile and overpowering players ever to put on a uniform in New Hampshire.
“It’s awesome and it’s just cool to know in future years that people can look back at that and see my name and what I was able to do,” Hatch said. “I’m beyond grateful to even hold those stats.”
Teammate Caitlyn Shea was a close second in the race for Player of the Year, setting up Hatch for kill after kill as the setter en route to a new school record for assists. But Flower said Hatch was the easy choice.
“I would have been shocked if she didn’t get it,” Flower said of Hatch. “She was clearly the best choice. When you’re thinking about how you’re going to defend against another teams’ strongest players, it usually isn’t the setter that you’re thinking about. It’s their best hitters and every team keys on Lauren.”
“It was so amazing,” Hatch said of the honor. “I really couldn’t of asked for anything better to finish off my year. I’ve been working really hard so just to kind of get that recognition really meant a lot to me.”
As for her future, Hatch isn’t in a hurry to make any commitments just yet, but said her ultimate goal is to continue playing in college at the Division I level, even if it means walking on.
“A lot of the (colleges) I’ve been thinking about applying to are for Division I, so hopefully I can get some contact from those coaches or possibly be a walk-on for a team,” Hatch said. “No matter what, I’m going to continue to play volleyball. It’s just whether it’s for a club or the actual team.”