Robert Stevens, General Assignments Reporter
Lauren Havill became the newest addition to the Pioneer family in January as the new assistant volleyball coach alongside Head Coach Aris Bird.
Havill arrives directly from graduating in December of last year from Northern Vermont University-Johnson. She served as a student assistant coach for the SVU-Johnson’s men’s volleyball team, while also leading the North Atlantic Conference in kills on the women’s volleyball team.
“My passion is to provide students with the opportunity to grow their sense of self through the sport of volleyball,” Havill said. “I want players to have a college experience that was as incredible as my own. When I joined the program, I already felt as if I was part of the family. The girls are hardworking and eager to learn and Coach Bird has welcomed me with open arms.”
The volleyball team went 2-25 back in 2019 and finished last in hitting percentage in the Empire 8 Conference with a .067. The Pioneers are looking to get back on track with the help of Havill who dominated the North Atlantic Conference. In her junior year, she was at the top of the conference in kills with 161, second in kills per set, fourth in points earned and 13th in aces per set.
According to Bird, it is not the fact that Havill stands out by finishing 7th all-time in kills in just one season at the Northern Vermont University-Johnson, instead, it is her knowledge of recruiting athletes.
“Coach Renn is going to be an incredible asset to our program, and we are fortunate to have her,” Bird said. “Her experience playing volleyball paired with her experience working in athletics gives her an all-around approach to recruiting and coaching.”
This season, the volleyball team brought in six freshmen that will make up over one-third of the 15 women roster. Going forward, the team plans to put a heavy emphasis on recruiting.
Despite the emphasis placed on the future for this program, this shortened season is still a priority for Renn. As the team works on breaking down defensive reads at the moment, the goal is still high; the playoffs.
“Ultimately, our goal is to be in the top six teams within the Empire 8 and compete in the playoffs,” Havill said. “I am confident in our athletes and know we have serious potential on our roster.”