Some people like to watch television in their free time. Others like to read. Some people like to work on cars, exercise, or play an instrument. But what about Gig Harbor High School junior volleyball player Lauren Hatfield?
“She told us, she likes to do chores when she has free time,” said Gig Harbor volleyball coach Melissa Klein with a laugh.
For Hatfield, working hard is a way of life. She lives on farm and takes care of chickens, turkeys, horses, dogs, cats and rabbits.
“I feel like that’s taught me life lessons with responsibility because I have something else depending on me,” Hatfield said. “Just responsibility and time management.”
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It’s a lot of work, but for Hatfield, it’s par for the course. And on the volleyball court, she brings an intensity and work ethic that is hard to match.
She likes to work hard. She works hard in life. The harder you work in practice, the better you’ll be.
Melissa Klein, Gig Harbor volleyball coach
“She’s very passionate about volleyball,” Klein said. “Her life is volleyball. She’s really into the girls on the team and she really wants to win. … She likes to work hard. She works hard in life. The harder you work in practice, the better you’ll be.”
When Klein schedules an optional practice, Hatfield is always there. And if Klein cancels a practice to give the girls a day off, she’ll hear about it from Hatfield.
“She’ll text me and ask if we can have the practice,” Klein said. “Her, (and fellow outside hitters) Selena Dutton and Hannah Yerex, they like to have time on the court.”
Hatfield’s work ethic has earned her a bit of a reputation.
I like to try to keep the team positive and keep them focused. I think there’s a really good balance between having fun and being focused at the same time.
Lauren Hatfield, Gig Harbor outside hitter
“I’ve been told that I’m really intense,” she said, laughing. “I don’t know where that comes from. I like to try to keep the team positive and keep them focused. I think there’s a really good balance between having fun and being focused at the same time. I really like to strive for that.”
Hatfield has been a key part of Gig Harbor’s team, which has posted a 20-1 overall record this season, including a clean sweep in the West Central III/Southwest bi-district tournament last weekend, beating Spanaway Lake, Wilson, North Thurston and Capital in the title game. The Tides didn’t lose a single set. It was Gig Harbor High’s first district title since 1997.
“That was such a cool moment for us and the team,” Klein said. “They had such great energy. We knew both teams were tired. Our team was just really fired up and ready to go. Every game, they just played very solid all day, which was really nice to see. They knew it was tournament time.”
Now, Gig Harbor enters this weekend’s Class 3A state tournament in Kennewick as a top seed and a legitimate title contender.
“Our team is really confident, excited to make it to state,” Klein said. “It’s about the experience this weekend, not always the outcome. Being a state contender — that’s our goal. We want to make it positive.”