By Ryan Kaczmarski
After being pursued by the College of Wooster, Bethany College, Goucher College and Southern Connecticut State, North Olmsted resident and Magnificat High School standout volleyball player Claire Lambert chose to continue her academic and athletic careers at the University of Charleston, in West Virginia.
The university’s coaching staff and the state of the current team were big factors in her decision.
“I’ll be able to make an immediate impact on the team (playing as a freshman), and UC has the perfect major (for me) in early childhood development,” Lambert said. “The dean of school education will work with me as a freshman to design the classes, etc.”
Academics played a large role in her decision, but the fact that there are many athletic programs at the school also did not hurt.
“UC has a strong focus not only on academics, but a high percentage of students there are athletes as well,” she explained. “With my abilities and commitment to get better, I am confident I can lead my team to a (Mountain East Conference) championship.”
Lambert attributes much of her success to the support of her family and coaches.
“My parents have always believed in me and my dream to play college volleyball,” she stated. “Every time I picked up a volleyball or stepped foot on the court, I think my coaches – at every level – pushed me to be the best.
“I say a prayer for my grandma Ike every day, and thank her for always telling me that I could do anything I put my mind to, as long as I stayed focused, dedicated and committed, while always remembering (to focus on) the team.”
Lambert has accepted both academic and athletic scholarships. She was a two-year letter winner in volleyball (she played all four years in high school), and was involved in basketball for two years, the tutoring program and the Endowment Scholarship program for four years, all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA at Magnificat.
“My four years at Magnificat have helped me become a leader, on and off the volleyball court, while keeping Magnificat’s core values of respect, collaboration and commitment at the forefront of everything I have done,” she said. “I will continue to serve others by being a great friend, teammate and student-athlete.”
Also being featured at Magnificat’s NLI signing were Emily Witt and Paige Rombach. Although they did not receive a scholarship offers, Witt will be playing tennis at Bowling Green State University, and Rombach will be playing soccer at High Point University.