Sophia Lawrence: Defensive Player of the Week and Christ-Centered Sportsman
Sophia Lawrence, a freshman at George Fox University (GFU), was recently named the Northwest Conference (NWC) Women’s Volleyball “Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week.” This is her first honor by the conference office. Lawrence’s plays were critical in helping the Bruins continue their winning streak of five consecutive NWC games at the end of October.
Lawrence has played school and club volleyball since she was in sixth grade and is currently libero for the GFU team. About her conference office award, Lawrence says, “It was honestly a surprise...I feel like I couldn’t do it without [my teammates].”
This came after a two-win weekend against Linfield College and University of Puget Sound where Lawrence tallied a total of 49 digs, 31 of which she made in the game against Linfield, a new career-high. The five conference game winning streak is GFU’s second longest since 2009.
“Sportsmanship has been a really big part of my life,” says Lawrence. “You respect everyone that you play. They’ve worked almost or just as hard as you and you need to prove yourself with your actions.”
Before and after each game, the team prays together. Win or lose, they also invite their opponents to pray with them afterwards.
“I never thought I would need [the involvement of spirituality],” said Lawrence, “I feel like I’m a better player because of it.”
Right side hitter Anna Gallagher agrees: “No matter if we beat [other teams] or if we lose, we’re still praying.” About Lawrence she says, “With her sportsmanship and with the way she acts towards her teammates and other teams...her presence is going to be a huge dynamic in that experience in how other teams perceive us and how we love on other teams.”
Lawrence plays a large part in setting a standard of Christ-centered sportsmanship. “Her identity is not in her athleticism, it’s truly in her being a daughter of Christ, which is so cool to see in someone who is also really good at being an athlete,” Gallagher said.
At the end of this season, the GFU women’s volleyball team went 8-11 overall and 7-8 in conference games.
Aside from playing volleyball, Lawrence and Gallagher have put together a weekly worship and Bible study called “Lazarus.” It is held Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. in the Foxhole and is open to anyone. They especially encourage freshmen to attend.
Reported by Kaylee Hatfield
Photographed by Coleman Weimer