Junior Lauren Chastang has been dominant on the volleyball court ever since she arrived at Kennesaw State in 2017. Chastang’s achievements in her two completed years as an Owl include being selected to the 2017 Atlantic Sun all-freshman team and the 2018 ASUN all-conference team.
Before Chastang decided that she wanted to commit to volleyball in college, she explored several sports in her high school career at Bayside Academy in Daphne, Alabama. Chastang was a four-sport athlete, playing volleyball as well as basketball, swimming and track.
Although Chastang was talented in a plethora of sports, volleyball was the sport she was most comfortable with.
“I knew that I was going to play volleyball in college probably my freshman year of high school,” Chastang said. “Not that I knew I was gonna go somewhere, I knew I wanted to play college volleyball.”
According to KSU Athletics, Chastang was on the varsity volleyball team since the seventh grade. In her six years of eligibility, she won six consecutive 3A state championships. This earned her the Gatorade state player of the year in 2017 after finishing her career at Bayside with almost 2,000 kills.
Chastang spent part of her first year at KSU on the sidelines due to an ankle injury.
“My freshman year started with an injury before our first game,” Chastang said. “I hurt my ankle pretty bad three days before our first game so I had a slow start here.”
Even though Chastang was injured, she still finished her freshman year with 108 kills and made the ASUN all-freshman team after finishing fifth in kills on the team.
Chastang’s sophomore year proved to be just as impressive, resulting in 417 kills. This led to her placement on the ASUN all-conference team and she finished second-most kills all-time in a single-season at KSU.
This season, Chastang leads the team in both points and kills with 279.5 and 227 respectively, as well as 167 digs.
In wake of the exit of a significant group of seniors such as Liesl Engelbrecht, Chastang and her teammates had to make major adjustments.
“After my freshman year, we lost a lot of seniors and I think a lot of us had to grow up fast,” Chastang said. ”I think my best memories of last year was the dogfight that our young team brought still after losing such a huge senior class.”
Chastang does not take all the credit for her success. She praises KSU volleyball head coach Keith Schunzel, stating that the veteran head coach tells her and her teammates to take things one game at a time no matter how big or small.
In Chastang’s journey playing on the collegiate level at KSU, she emphasized the impact that her family has had on her path to volleyball. This includes her mother who also played volleyball at the University of Alabama.
“She had a huge influence of just the kind of person that I wanted to take after,” Chastang said. “I think that sent volleyball over basketball, swimming and track.”
In the future, Chastang states that she hopes to be a leader for her teammates going into the ASUN tournament before her exit next year.
The Owls have started the first half of the season with an 11-5 record while being undefeated in conference play. Chastang and the rest of the KSU volleyball team will face off against North Alabama on Friday, Oct. 11.