Meet Multi-Sport Athletes Sophia and Laney

Competing at the collegiate level isn’t easy. Competing in two sports in college is even harder. While many high school athletes hope to move on to college to continue in their respective sport, only a fraction of them do so. That’s what makes what George Fox’s Sophia Lawrence and Laney Search did as freshmen all the more impressive, as the pair suited up for both the women’s volleyball and tennis teams.

According to the NCAA, the overall percentage of high school athletes who participate at the Division III level in women’s volleyball and women’s tennis is just under 2 percent. That percentage is even lower for those who pull off playing both sports their first year of college. Sophia and Laney aren’t just accomplishing that feat – they are thriving while doing so.

The pair kicked off their freshman year taking on the task of balancing school, women’s volleyball, women’s tennis and, of course, their social lives. When asked what their first year was like, Sophia quickly jumped in to say “fulfilling,” while Laney was more conservative and used the word “growth.”

As early commits, the two quickly became friends before the season got underway. They solidified their relationship as best friends on their volleyball retreat. Before they knew it, they were thrown into action as two of eight newcomers on the team. Both earned starting roles, and the roller-coaster ride of their freshman year was in full swing.

The duo finished the volleyball season playing in every match and logged valuable time as key members of a Bruin squad that recorded eight wins in Northwest Conference play – the most since the 2009 season.

With no break, the pair shifted quickly to the women’s tennis team.

“We showed up to our first match and were penciled in at No. 3 doubles, and both marked down to play in singles,” Laney says. “We weren’t expecting that, but we were completely ready for the challenge.”

“It was a bit odd,” adds Sophia. “We didn’t expect to play, and here we are in our first-ever collegiate match being ‘thrown into the fire.’”

All in all, the pair enjoyed their first year more than they expected. They finished their tennis season with a doubles record of 8-7 at the No. 3 spot.

“The environment is so healthy,” Sophia says. “Our teammates and coaches were so gracious that it made everything really enjoyable.”

Sophia is majoring in elementary education, while Laney is studying biology. They both live in different buildings, which they mentioned helped since they see each other every day.

Sophia describes Laney as “livin’ life large,” and soon after the two broke out in laughter. Laney describes Sophia as “selfless and very supportive.”

“We learned a lot about ourselves, and our bond just got stronger and stronger as the year went on,” says Sophia.

The two will enjoy a nice break during the summer before they head back to campus and continue to be among the few who takes on the challenge of being multi-sport athletes.