Having played for Omaha Marian for the better part of her prep volleyball career,
has now turned her attention toward helping second-year high school Elkhorn South (Neb.)
learn her winning ways.
Wanting to get an early start on her college volleyball career at Nebraska, Sieckmann had her eyes set on joining the Huskers in January. But Omaha Marian does not allow its students to graduate early, so that set the stage for the MaxPreps Preseason First Team All-American to play for Brianna Ritter's Storm at Elkhorn South.
The transfer will also allow Sieckmann to avoid a 30-minute drive each morning from Elkhorn to Omaha Marian and will allow the 5-foot-11 setter to join forces with Storm teammates that she competed with in middle school.
"At times I missed playing with my (Omaha Marian) teammates," Sieckmann said. "But once I started practicing with the team, I never second-guessed my decision. Everybody has been so supportive. I really like it here."
Sieckmann grew up watching Big Red play, which in turn built an inroad for Huskers coach John Cook to go after the talented daughter of former PGA Golfer Tom Sieckmann. The two-time Super-Stater attended plenty of Husker volleyball wins and has four walls and a door's worth of posters to demonstrate her loyalty.
Sieckmann attended any and all of Nebraska's volleyball camps possible, allowing the Huskers to get a good look at one of the better of many in-state prospects.
"I think they could tell I wanted to be there," Sieckmann said. "They could see that I was willing to do anything to be a part of the program."
When Cook made her an official offer, Sieckmann said she was speechless.
"I had no words to say," she said. "I didn't know if I should say yes right away. I wanted to, but decided to wait."
Sieckmann then took visits to Texas, Iowa State and Illinois, three schools that she really liked, shortly after Cook made the offer. But in the end none of the three powerhouse volleyball programs stood up to Nebraska. Sieckmann contacted Cook and gave him the answer he wanted to hear about a month later.
Before she enrolls at Nebraska, Sieckmann and her Storm teammates have some unfinished business to settle on the volleyball court. With Sieckmann running the show, Elkhorn South hopes to equal the success that Omaha Marian achieved when the Crusaders had Sieckmann on their roster.
Omaha Marian finished in the top four at the Nebraska Class A State Volleyball Tournament in each of the last three seasons and won the 2009 Class A state title. Rochelle Rohlfs' squad compiled a 112-16 record during the Sieckmann era.
Playing for the Nebraska Elite 121s club team, Sieckmann won a national title, making it difficult to pick which title was her favorite.
"That's a tough one," Sieckmann said. "Winning a state title and a national championship are both different memories, but good memories. In high school we played some tough teams, but we were playing to be the best in the state. As far as nationals, I don't think I ever played on that good of a team before. It was pretty cool to win a national championship."
During the national title run, Sieckmann and her elite teammates endured a power outage and 15 minutes of darkness before rallying from behind to win.
"I think that helped us relax and eventually we were able to come back and win," Sieckmann said.
The Storm put together a 9-19 campaign a year ago with no seniors on the squad. The addition of Sieckmann combined with the experience her underclassmen has Ritter's club off to an 18-3 start following last Tuesday's 3-0 win over Blair. The Storm is ranked third in both the Omaha World Herald and in the Lincoln Journal Star's latest high school volleyball rankings.
"Lauren brings a lot of experience and a winning attitude with her," Ritter said. "You can just see her desire to win. She is very fluid and relaxed, but at the same time she never stops and she refuses to lose."
Since arriving this fall, Sieckmann has joined forces with last year's setter Emily Hardin
, giving the Storm a huge advantage over opposing defenses. Both athletes are capable of playing anywhere on the floor.
"Emily moved from a right side to setter last year," Ritter said. "And she's learned a lot from Lauren already. Both of them play all-around and they complement each other nicely. Either of them can set the ball for the other, and they can hit."
Of the three blemishes on Elkhorn South's record, two losses have come at the hands of Eastern Midlands Conference foe Gretna. Sieckmann is hoping to find an answer to the Dragons' success over Elkhorn South by the end of the year.
"Our team goal is to win conference, beating Gretna," Sieckmann said. "My goal is to do my job – to do what I can to beat the other team. I want to know that I did everything I could to win. We also want to play with heart. No matter how far we get – if we make it to state, win or lose – we want to play with heart. That will determine whether we're successful or not."
Volleyball fits Sieckmann's competitive nature. Whether she's at practice or competing in a game, hitting or setting, she just enjoys being on the court.
Going into Tuesday's 3-0 sweep of Blair, Sieckmann had chalked up 221 kills and 115 set assists to go along with 143 digs. She was also credited with 26 service aces and 13 good blocks. Sieckmann has added a jump serve with topspin and is working hard to improve her setting accuracy.
"I'm a setter, but I also get to do a little bit of everything," Sieckmann said. "I'm enjoying being able to hit, because I know that once I get to college I'll never get to do it anymore.
Ritter loves the talent that her one-year star possesses, but also said Sieckmann has plenty of room for growth as she prepares for her entrance to the college level.
"She has great hands. She has soft hands," Ritter said. "That's something you can't train. She's very talented, but has so much potential for growth. She would be the first one to say she's not perfect and that she can still get better at everything."