Volleyball Profile - Allison Lawrence

Sept. 16, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Allison Lawrence, a co-captain of this year's volleyball team, has gotten the Beavers off to a 9-2 start as they head into the start of Pacific-10 play. Lawrence's performance on the court has been a key reason to the team's success. The junior outside hitter leads the Beavers in kills, digs and aces. She ranks fifth in the Pac-10 for digs and aces and is 10th in the league for kills. In fact, Lawrence is the only Pac-10 player currently ranked among the Top 10 in all three categories.

She earned honorable mention recognition on the Pac-10's All-Freshman Team in 2001, and she led the team in kills as a sophomore last year. Also a strong student, Lawrence's success is evident in the classroom as well, with the philosophy major earning honorable mention recognition on the Pac-10's All-Academic squad last season.

Allison, a California native, sat down for a Question and Answer session following a recent workout. Here's what she had to say about her improvement on the court, her favorite books, her unusual eating habits and more.

Q- How nice is it to be home after two really long road trips?

A- It's really nice. Each tournament we played in had at least one day with two matches, so just being able to relax at home and not be going to the gym or anything has just been really nice. And I like our gym a lot better than the other ones.

Q- The team is 9-2 entering the start of Pac-10 play. With such a young team, the preseason was probably more important this year than others. How would say the team has developed over the last few weeks and are you pleased with where you are right now?

A- Yeah, I'm really pleased. I think we developed quite a bit from the very beginning of our first day of practice. If anything, it was the experience for the freshmen with the pace of our offense, the pace of our defense, and just learning our system. I don't think it really mattered what team was on the other side of the net because we were more focused on our side and our system and jelling as a team rather than wins, wins, wins. Of course, we like the wins, and we're glad we're 9-2. That's awesome going into Pac-10s, but I think it was more to develop a consistent level of play and a standard to hold our team to.

Q- Individually, you rank in the top 10 in the Pac-10 in three different categories - kills, digs and aces. You led OSU in kills last year, but to see you also listed among the league leaders for digs and aces is a nice addition. You already have more aces in 11 matches this year than you did your entire sophomore year, and you're already close to having as many digs as you did last year. What's been the difference this year?

A- Well, I've been jump serving this year, which I didn't last year. We worked on it all spring, and that's really been coming together. That's really a lot of fun. A lot of times I just go back and try to rip it as hard as I can, and it's been going my way a lot of the time. It's getting consistent. With the defense, it's always an emphasis in our program. I just feel like now that I'm in my third year in the program, everything has kind of clicked as far as my vision and court awareness. Defense feels automatic to me now, rather than something that I need to constantly think 'Where do I need to go? Where do I need to be?' I feel like it's a lot more fun, and I can just relax and go where I think the balls are going rather than having to guess a lot.

Q- You're a philosophy major. How did you get interested in that?

A- I took an ethics class. That was my first philosophy class, and I really loved it. I loved the questions it raised in my head about the kind of person I want to be, or even in volleyball, the kind of competitor I want to be, and the way I want to live my life. It made me think about so many things that I think are really important toward achieving goals. I decided that it's the one thing I've found that I really love to do, and I can see myself devoting 100 percent of my time to it. Whether I fail at it or make no money, I figure it's better to be happy and doing something I enjoy doing rather than picking something that may be a little more comfortable or safer.

Q- You enjoy reading. Here's a two-part question. First, what's the last book you read, and second, if you knew you going to going to be stranded on a desert island but would be allowed to take three books with you, which ones would take?

A- The last book I read was 'Crossing to Safety' by Wallace Stegner. And for the three books I'd take, definitely the third book to 'Lord of the Rings.' That was one of the best books I've ever read. Also, I would take 'The Catcher in the Rye' by J.D. Salinger and 'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand.

Q- Since you also enjoy writing - if you were to write a book, what would it be about?

A- The stuff I normally lean toward writing is always about complicated relationships. It doesn't have to be love or any of that, but like between a mother and a daughter. I couldn't do a 'Lord of the Rings' type of thing.

Q- Your 'Fun Fact' in this year's media guide says that you eat hamburgers in a circular pattern. They say there's no wrong way to eat a Reese's, but seriously, why did you start eating your hamburgers like that?

A- This sounds ridiculous, but I really like the center of things. The best bite is always the middle, whether you're eating a cinnamon roll or a hamburger, or anything round. I save that for last, so I've always rotated the hamburger around. Once you get the outer part eaten, it just gets better as you go in. That's the logic behind it.

Q- You obviously will eat a hamburger, but what's the one thing you'll never be caught eating?

A- That's a good question, because there aren't a lot of things that I won't eat. I don't think I could eat the kind of stuff they eat on Fear Factor. I couldn't eat any of that, but as far as normal food goes, I pretty much will eat anything.

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