By Lauren Spain
Junior women’s volleyball player Lisa DeGroot won the NJAC title of player of the week for the second and third time in her athletic collegiate career on the weeks of September 29 and October 13.
“It’s a good feeling being a junior and getting it twice, because the first time I was a sophomore, so it feels good,” DeGroot said.
“I think being player of the week also shows how hard I push myself and I’m glad that it’s shown. I have to thank my team because it is a team sport. Together we all play defense so when my team does well it makes me look better so I always thank my team.”
The California native began playing volleyball when she was in the fifth grade, with a huge impact from her mother. Along with volleyball, she played soccer, track and lacrosse growing up. She also enjoys surfing and snowboarding in her spare time.
She chose to pursue collegiate volleyball because her high school coach gave her the confidence and assurance she needed, and also because of the support she’s received from her mother throughout her entire volleyball career.
DeGroot said she chose Kean University because of the school’s atmosphere.
“I had to make a commitment to another school in about a week, so my mom and I came out here to look and I think what won me over was meeting the players,” DeGroot said. “Right away it felt like family to me and that was what I was looking for.”
Since becoming a part of the women’s volleyball team at Kean, Lisa has accomplished much success. However her success does not shadow her hard work and effort.
“I think that Lisa is a hardworking player and keeps her teammates up both on and off the court,” said teammate Nicollette Poveromo. “I think that no matter where her head is at, she always gets back into her place and no matter where anyone else’s heads at, she’s always there to pick you up.”
Her coach, Don Perkins, said Degroot’s ability to play her position well helps boost the entire team.
“We are trying to brand ourselves as a more defensive team and Lisa has had 20 digs in each of the last four matches so her recent success has helped us rebrand ourselves as a team,” Perkins said. “She plays the Libero position in a way that is a little different and a little more effective then what people are used to seeing.”
A hard worker on an off the volleyball court, DeGroot juggles working on campus in Harwood Arena, participating in collegiate sports, and being a business management major and marketing minor. She also has her eyes set on attending graduate school after graduating Kean.
DeGroot has high hopes for this season’s outcome.
“I’m hoping that as a team we will make it to NJACs and go far in the tournament,” DeGroot said. “As an individual, I want to break more records, although that’s never my main focus. In all honesty I focus more on the team. But it would be nice to beat the number of digs in a season.”