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Girls volleyball Player of the Year: Valparaiso’s Tarrah Lasky

Valparaiso's Tarrah Lasky sets ball against Munster Thursday evening Valparaiso High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media

Valparaiso's Tarrah Lasky sets the ball against Munster Thursday evening at Valparaiso High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 2, 2013 6:09AM



There was never a doubt in Valparaiso senior Tarrah Lasky’s mind.

The setter knew drawing LaPorte — which had beaten the Vikings twice in the regular season en route to the Duneland Athletic Conference title — was the best thing that could have happened to her team when sectionals started in mid-October.

And she got exactly what she wanted: victory over the Slicers.

Valparaiso outlasted LaPorte 3-2 in a classic match then went on to beat Crown Point and Michigan City two days later to claim back-to-back sectional championships.

“We knew that people were doubting us and that was just what we needed to give us the drive to push harder,” said Lasky, who finished her senior season with 849 assists and 369 digs. “We were so happy that we drew (LaPorte) first so we could get this intense game in the first (round). We were very confident going in because we were playing on our gym floor so there was nothing to lose at that point. It was a hard match but one that definitely worked out for us.”

No doubt Lasky was one of the biggest reasons Valparaiso avenged its regular-season losses to the Slicers. She was the heart-and-soul of a Vikings’ team that won 28 matches, finished second in the DAC and won back-to-back sectionals for the first time since the 2004-05 seasons.

For her accomplishments, Lasky has been named the Post-Tribune Volleyball Player of the Year.

Lasky was a four-year starter for the Vikings but it wasn’t until her senior season that she became a vocal leader for the team. Lasky always had upperclassmen leading the way in that aspect as she focused on leading by example.

“Tarrah was a nice addition to the program her freshman year,” Coach Katie Lenard said. “She always had the knowledge and skill for the game but it wasn’t until her senior season where we really needed her to step up. ­­

“That’s when she worked with the hitters a little more and spent more time really dedicating her time to get it right.”

Lasky said her teammates were just as motivated as her so it was easy to lead this group.

“Right from the start, we had hitters that wanted to hit and players that wanted to pass and it was a good atmosphere because we had the drive and the ability,” she said.

Lenard said Lasky had even more to prove when sectionals came around, however, and she showed it in those three sectional matches.

“Some people were doubting us,” Lenard said. “But Tarrah was just like: ‘I know we lost some players to graduation but we’re still a great team.’ That (sectional) match was a great match and a very important one to Tarrah not only because we were facing a team that had beaten us twice but because she was dedicated to winning it and she had everybody fired up believing that. The players fed off that.”

Her dedication to volleyball won’t end. She received a full scholarship to play at Valparaiso University next season.

In fact, she’s been so busy with continuing her “volleyball education” that she hasn’t had a chance to think about what she’s going to study next year.

“I am undecided,” she said. “I might look into business or marketing. I don’t know.”

Lenard is excited that she’ll get the chance to watch her former player grow over the next four years at VU.

“She’s going to be very difficult to replace,” Lenard said. “It’s similar to when Kate Workman (who earned a scholarship to Purdue after playing at Valparaiso) graduated last year. What am I going to do without her? But I can still go to VU games and watch her and be involved in her progress.”



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