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Naperville North star Paige Lauterwasser commits to Wyoming

Paige Lauterwasser began her Naperville North volleyball career as an unknown.

After finishing it, she will head into the unknown.

The 6-foot outside hitter recently committed to play at Wyoming, in part to explore new places.

“I’ve never been out West,” Lauterwasser said. “The farthest I’ve ever been is Colorado, but that was two years ago.

“I’ve never been to California, Oregon and Nevada, so I thought it would be really good for me to have new opportunities.”

Lauterwasser said she loved the campus in Laramie, Wyoming, and felt supported by the players and coaching staff. The team plays in the Mountain West Conference.

“Their conference is amazing, and we get to go to so many different places and see different campuses and parts of the country,” Lauterwasser said. “That drew me toward it.”

Lauterwasser, a fourth-year starter for the Huskies, is no stranger to success. She had 403 kills, 262 digs, 44 blocks and 32 aces last season, when she was an all-area selection.

“Paige has been a rock star,” Naperville North coach Jennifer Urban said. “She came in as a freshman and immediately contributed. Each year she’s just added to her game.”

Urban had no idea who Lauterwasser was at first, though. Lauterwasser had attended Calvary Christian, a small private school.

“Paige was a total surprise,” Urban said. “She walked in first day of tryouts and had not gone to camp, so she was someone that was not on our radar.

“Immediately, we threw her up on the varsity court to see what she could do, and she earned a starting role playing front row. She’s been a six-rotation player since her sophomore year.”

Lauterwasser said she didn’t know what to expect as a freshman and was timid at first.

“I was definitely surprised to be put on varsity,” she said. “I came in not really knowing anyone because my school is very small.

“I recognized some people from the club, but being put on this team with seniors, I was so scared. But I knew it was going to be a really good opportunity for me, and I was really excited to be on the team and get to know the girls.”

Lauterwasser stood out from the start due to her talent, but she really impressed everyone with her work ethic. She’s a co-captain with senior setter Natalie Corcoran.

“It’s really cool because you see how hard she works during practice,” Corcoran said. “She’s always the loudest on the court. She’s always hustling the most and also helping and encouraging other people.

“It’s really rewarding just to watch her. It’s something I try to achieve every day.”

Never one to rest on her laurels, Lauterwasser worked hard with her Sports Performance club team to add even more strength to her already powerful body. Her thundering kills awe and inspire her teammates.

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“She can hit it really hard,” Corcoran said. “She’s such a role model.”

Urban foresees great things for Lauterwasser.

“The great thing about Paige is she continues to work hard every single day,” Urban said. “She asks questions. She wants to watch film on herself and her opponents.

“She is someone who will keep getting better and better because she’s coachable and works really hard.”

That drive comes from Lauterwasser’s desire to play professionally one day. But that’s not her focus now.

“I’m excited to lead the team,” Lauterwasser said. “We’re hosting regionals this year. We lost in three sets in the regional final in both my freshman and junior years, so this year is going to be a revenge tour for NNHS.”

Matt Le Cren is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.

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