Athlete of the Week: Lauren Leach continuing family legacy while building her own

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 6:00 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2023 at 7:53 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - For Cardinal Mooney volleyball fans there will be fresh faces this season. One of them is Lauren Leach.

She’s a freshman but if you watch her you wouldn’t know it.

Lady Cougars head volleyball coach Chad Davis tells ABC7 that despite her age Leach is already bringing leadership to the program.

“We’re super excited to have Lauren here. She is a tremendously hard worker.”

Leach comes from a family of royalty when it comes to sports. She’s originally from California and credits her grandmother the most for pushing her into playing volleyball.

“I started playing when I was eight,” Leach said. “My grandma kind of like, put me into a volleyball club and I just had so much fun. Then we moved to Florida and I kept playing here. And it’s just been so much fun. The love for volleyball’s constantly growing.”

This wasn’t always the plan though. Leach’s parents are former pro tennis players. Her mother, Lindsay Davenport, was once ranked No. 1 in the world for a total of 98 weeks.

However, volleyball was actually the family’s first love, and Lindsay ventured into her own journey with tennis.

“It was little bit by accident,” Davenport said. “I was born into a family, both of my parents played volleyball. My dad was in the ‘68 Olympics playing volleyball. My mom also played. I have two older sisters. They both played, but I was the youngest one. Back in the 80s, you didn’t really start volleyball until you were a bit older, more like 12 and 13. Meanwhile, I picked up tennis as an after school sport when I was around 5 or 6 years old. My parents tried two or three times to get me to stop playing and go into volleyball. I t was always around but something about tennis really stuck with me.”

Although she’s not following her footsteps with tennis, Davenport tells me she’s proud to see her daughter picking the original tradition back up.

“The one thing my husband and I have both agreed on is to let our kids kind of choose what their passion is,” Davenport said. “So we’re happy to support them in whatever they do. And for Lauren it’s been volleyball. It’s been great to be apart of that again.”

And Leach tells ABC7 she has one goal she wants to accomplish while in high school.

“I’m hoping, one of my goals would definitely over the course of high school would be to win a Florida State Player of the Year,” Leach said. “I feel like that would be fantastic. And I just want to be someone my teammates can look up to.”

Fans should get used to seeing Leach’s name and face.

She says she plans to be at Cardinal Mooney all four years high school.