Her smile says it all; her dream of playing volleyball after high school has come true. Edinburg High School senior Lisa Lancaster will be playing volleyball at Texas A&M International University in Laredo. Last week, in front of team mates, classmates and EHS coaches, Lancaster signed on to play for the university.
Like all athletes in high school, the dream to continue to play the sport at a college level is something she had planned for and now, with hard work and determination she will be part of the Dustdevil Volleyball team in the fall. She was one of three who were accepted to the Dustdevil Volleyball team and will play dual positions - defensive specialist and outside hitter.
Universities such as Sul Ross State University and Texas A&M Kingsville approached Lancaster with opportunities to play volleyball, but decided on TAMIU to be closer to home. Lancaster plans to major in Kinesiology and will begin school the second summer session with an academic scholarship.
“She is a ‘Go Getter,’ she is starting school a semester early to get her feet wet and make that transition of being on her own,” said Hortencia Lancaster, who is a coach at EHS and Lisa’s mom.
Lancaster tried out for the volleyball team in January and says it was not easy. She had to do basic volleyball skills such as passing and vertical jumps and tried out against ten other girls, some of the girls who tried out were college students. “Some of the girls trying out already had college level experience. I was a little scared but knew I had to step it up. I saw this as a challenge,” she said.
Lancaster remembers being in her room the day she got the call from the volleyball coach at TAMIU asking her if she wanted to play for them.
“I was ecstatic, I couldn’t breathe. I was in my room then started running around the house looking for my parents,” she said.
Lancaster was surrounded by sports all her life and has been playing sports since the age of five. Her father, James G. Lancaster, is Associate Athletic Director for The University of Texas-Pan American and her mother, Hortencia Lancaster is the cross country coach at EHS.
“I was always a gym rat growing up. Whatever I could get my hands on, I was playing,” she said.
Lancaster said she chose to play volleyball because she loves and has the passion for it. “It’s not that it’s easier, it is more challenging. It is based on you and not the whole team because you need to work in that one position and contribute to the whole team.”
Lancaster’s mom is proud and happy that her daughter has achieved so much but says it feels bittersweet because she is leaving.
“This is bittersweet because this is something she’s always wanted this,” said Lancaster’s mom. “When she was little she was always out there shagging the ball, she was always involved with sports.
EHS coach Deanna Sanchez-Dominguez said this type of opportunity is great for the volleyball program. “She’s always been a role models to the kids that come in to our program, having them witness this and knowing how hard she works, is great.”
Lancaster is scheduled to graduate in June 6 and will be working with Edinburg Parks and Recreation Department as a volleyball referee for junior high and high school levels.