Girls Varsity Volleyball
Columbus North senior Lauren Opalka has committed to continue her academic and athletic career at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio.
The 5-foot-5 athlete is an outside hitter and defensive specialist in volleyball who plans to continue in that sport at the NCAA Division III school that is part of the Ohio Athletic Conference. She announced her decision on Monday (Sept. 23) via Twitter.
“I’m excited to announce my commitment to Muskingum University to continue both my academic and athletic careers,” Opalka wrote. “Thank you to Coach (Hallie) Cruzen) and the rest of the Fighting Muskies for making me feel right at home.
“I also want to thank (Columbus North) coach (Caitlin) Greiner for pushing me so hard to make me the player and hard worker I am today. Thank you (to CNHS athletic trainers) Ashley (Martin) and Steve (Souder) for taking nothing but the best care of me after every practice and game.
“Finally, thank you to the best parents an 18-year-old girl could ask for, teaching me how to dream big and to not stop despite every obstacle you face in life. I’m not finished yet and cannot wait to be a part of Muskie VB.”
Opalka totaled nine kills, two blocks and three digs this season before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the third match of the season. As a junior, she totaled 69 kills, two service aces and 18 digs for a Bull Dogs’ squad that went 10-18.
She will be joining a Muskingum program that is 13-2 overall and 0-1 in the OAC this season. The Fighting Muskies went 25-7 overall and 7-2 in the OAC in 2018. The team has qualified for NCAA Tournament play on nine occasions, most recently in 2008.
Opalka is the eighth Columbus North athlete in the class of 2020 to make a commitment for college athletics. Others previously committing were Brooke Bruin (softball, DePauw University), Casper Clark (baseball, Indiana University), Mitchel Collier (football, Central Michigan), Caroline Hollenkamp (women’s soccer, Brandeis University, Mass.), Olivia Morlok (women’s swimming, Ohio University), Sierra Norman (softball, Marian University) and Grant Trinkle (baseball, University of Kentucky).
PHOTO: Columbus North senior Lauren Opalka elevates for a kill attempt in the 2019 season-opening match against Seymour.