UNK Volleyball’s Lauren Taubenheim Thankful For ‘Special’ Support During Volleyball Day In Nebraska

Redshirt junior Lauren Taubenheim serves a volleyball during Volleyball Day in Nebraska on Aug. 30.

Lauren Taubenheim’s love for volleyball began on the sidelines of a Nebraska Volleyball game.

The Lincoln native picked up the sport at a young age, but her passion for the sport only grew while helping as a ball girl for the Huskers in grade school.

“That’s kind of when I decided that volleyball was something that I wanted to do,” Taubenheim said. “I watched those girls, who were some of the best to go through Nebraska Volleyball, and I wanted to be like them.”

Fast forward to today and Taubenheim is setting her own path as a redshirt junior on the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s volleyball team. She’s seen success both on and off the court over the course of her career at UNK, as a two-time All-MIAA and MIAA Scholar-Athlete recipient.

Taubenheim said UNK has been a second home to her over the last three years. Along with the opportunity to play for one of the most successful teams in NCAA Division II history, the school’s proximity to Lincoln means her family doesn’t have to travel far to support her.

“I just couldn’t really see myself going far away,” she said. “There just wasn’t a better fit for me.”

Taubenheim had the opportunity to return to her own backyard during Volleyball Day in Nebraska Aug. 30. The historic daylong celebration of volleyball in the state included an exhibition match between UNK and Wayne State College.

From the moment the match was announced last spring, Taubenheim said it never felt real.

“Everyone was so shocked when it was first announced and it came up so fast, so everyone was just really excited,” she said.

Reality hit when Taubenheim and the Lopers stepped on the court in Memorial Stadium, surrounded by supporters from all corners of the state.

“From going to Husker games my whole life, I knew that Nebraska fans know how to show up, but it didn’t really hit me until I looked up at the stadium,” she said. “It was a super-cool moment to see, and it was really special to see everyone supporting volleyball at all levels.”

Redshirt junior Lauren Taubenheim bumps a volleyball during Volleyball Day in Nebraska on Aug. 30.

Volleyball Day in Nebraska isn’t the only record-breaking crowd Taubenheim has been a part of this year. On Sept. 6, just a week after Volleyball Day in Nebraska, UNK Volleyball broke the NCAA Division II regular-season attendance record during a home-opener sweep over Peru State. 

Taubenheim said the kind of support volleyball receives in Nebraska is one of a kind. To student-athletes like her, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

“We have a really strong community here in Kearney that always shows up to support us game after game, no matter who we’re playing,” she said. “It’s really something that all of us volleyball girls are so appreciative of, and it keeps us going throughout the season.”

You can support Loper Volleyball and countless other programs and student organizations at https://unkfund.org/.

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