Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee: Lauren Corp '09
For Orange Lutheran alumna Lauren Corp ’09, the genesis of her volleyball career as a Lancer began with her mother. A former collegiate volleyball player and high school coach, Corp’s mom would bring her young daughter to practices, and Corp would keep herself occupied in the gym by watching and admiring the older girls. She wanted to be just like them, and in seventh grade, she asked her parents if she could learn to play.
Corp and volleyball clicked almost immediately, and as an outside hitter for the Lancers, she went on to earn Trinity League Player of the Year, OC Varsity Player of the Year and Gatorade State Player of the Year during her senior season. In recognition of these achievements and her contributions to OLu’s girls volleyball program, she will be honored this summer as one of 11 inductees in the Orange Lutheran Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
One of the most popular sports for young female athletes, Corp considers volleyball to be unique in both the scoring format and the camaraderie that is displayed on the court after each play, whether the team earns a point or not.
“People actually make fun of volleyball players for this, but I find it so fascinating that after every point we all come together into a little huddle, in the middle of the court, and do this little celebration,” says Corp. “Seeing the girls buy into that and be interested in the team aspect of the sport, I think that really drew me in, especially initially.”
Corp’s decision to attend Orange Lutheran was rooted in a few factors. For one, her older brother and fellow 2023 Orange Lutheran Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Aaron Corp ’07, was already a Lancer and thriving in the school’s football program. Additionally, she had group of friends she knew through playing club basketball that had decided to attend OLu.
But it was meeting her eventual coach, former OLu volleyball head coach Marc Laulhere, that likely sealed the deal. After attending a summer volleyball camp for middle schoolers, she was introduced to Laulhere who would go on to become one of the strongest and most influential mentors in her life, both athletically and personally.
“From the bottom of my heart, I love him and owe so much of the success that I have to him,” says Corp of Laulhere. “He could not have been a more supportive person for me, especially being a freshman and starting on the varsity team. He instilled a confidence in me that I don't think I had prior to him coming into my life. I think that he pushed us in a way that still made us feel successful, even in our failures. I really owe a lot to him and what he did for us as a team. Even outside of volleyball, I think he really instilled a lot of great values in us.”
Corp and her six-foot frame would help lead the Lancers to three league titles (2005, 2007, 2008), including a 21-match win streak during her senior season. In addition to her league, county and state MVP honors, she also earned MVP honors at both the Dave Mohs Tournament and the Beach City Invitational. The influence of Laulhere and teammates like co-captain Rachel Buckley ’09 were key.
But it was the support she received off the court as well that left an indelible mark on Corp’s time as a Lancer.
“We were taught how to learn,” says Corp of the academics at OLu. “What Orange Lutheran really instilled in us is to be very curious on an academic level. I also learned about creativity, thinking outside of the box and being a problem solver.”
Corp recalls a time specifically with math, a subject with which she admittedly struggled, where OLu math teacher Jenny Miklos took the extra time with her that she needed to understand the material.
“She was able and willing to help,” says Corp of Miklos. “I think that's something that's very unique at Orange Lutheran. I don't think that a lot of people have the opportunity to have one-on-one sessions with their teachers. Knowing that someone cares about you as a person…not just as a number or an athlete…is something that is beyond valuable that you can't really measure. And I definitely felt that at Orange Lutheran.”
Corp would go on to play Division 1 volleyball for St. Mary’s College of California and was part of Gaels teams that won the West Coast Conference and earned multiple berths in the NCAA Division 1 women’s volleyball tournament. She was selected three times as a West Coast Conference All-Team honoree.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in political science, Corp would head back to the Bay Area to earn her master’s degree in public health from the University of San Francisco. She currently resides in Hermosa Beach and works as a recruiter for a healthcare tech company.
While her formal playing days are over, Corp still gets out on the court recreationally now and again, and she enjoys the beach volleyball scene near her current home. She did a short stint of coaching at OLu with the Lancers boys volleyball program and would enjoy returning to a coaching role at a future point.
Corp feels she would be remiss in reflecting back on her time as a Lancer without recognizing how much her parents sacrificed to provide the opportunity for both her and her brother to attend OLu. She recalls all of the driving her mother did, back and forth from work to practices to lift sessions and how integral her parents were to her academic and athletic success.
To be inducted into the Orange Lutheran Athletics Hall of Fame, especially alongside Aaron, puts into perspective for Corp the influence her time at OLu has had on her life. Whether it was the mentoring of Laulhere, the unending support of OLu legend Miss Paul, the academic encouragement from teachers like Miklos or the camaraderie of her teammates, her years as a Lancer no doubt shaped her current path.
“It's extremely humbling…but I think ultimately, it's a really great honor,” says Corp. “I don't think it would have happened had I not had a mentor like Coach [Laulhere], if I had not had teammates like Rachel Buckely and people like her to push me and continue to drive that competitive edge that we both had. I think people like that really helped make this come true.”
Topics from this blog: Alumni StoriesBack