Life is coming very fast at Lone Peak’s Lauren Jardine.

Her senior season with the Knights resulted in a 6A state volleyball championship. She’ll graduate in December and enroll at Big Ten power Wisconsin for winter semester. Since most of college volleyball has been pushed to a late January start, she’ll have an opportunity to play for the Badgers right away in the toughest college volleyball conference in the country.

As a send-off, the Daily Herald is awarding Jardine the 2020 Valley Player of the Year.

“I’ve seen Lauren almost every day for years now,” said Lone Peak coach Reed Carlson, who is also Jardine’s club coach. “Her graduating is like losing one of my children and it’s sad. But I’m so happy for her. She’s going on and she will represent her family, Lone Peak volleyball and the state of Utah in the Big Ten Conference for a Top 5 program. She’s going to do us proud.”

Jardine posted spectacular numbers her senior season, posting 496 kills (4.6 per set) while hitting .273 with 49 aces and 43 total blocks. During the Knights state tournament run, she averaged nearly 16 kills per match. She finished with 17 kills in the 3-1 championship match win against Copper Hills, helping to avenge last season’s loss to the Grizzlies in the semifinals.

Jardine is a 2020 Under Armour First Team All-American and is listed as No. 15 on the PrepVolleyball Top 150.

Jardine comes from a very athletic family. Her father, Richard, played basketball at Utah State. Her mother, the former Paula Gray, played basketball and volleyball at Dixie State. Her older sister, Jessica, played volleyball at BYU from 2010-2013.

Jardine said when she when she was a freshman she was offered a scholarship by Colorado State, which pushed her toward pursuing a future in volleyball. During her high school career, Jardine was recruited by more than 100 colleges.

She left Pleasant Grove High School after her sophomore year, looking for a program where she was more comfortable.

“That was for sure a turning point,” Jardine said. “I had a rough time at PG being myself. Coming to Lone Peak I was allowed to flourish into the person I am now. I got better academically, athletically and personally. It was hard at first, dealing with people who didn’t see my side of the story. I was scared about what would happen.”

Lone Peak was eliminated in the state semifinals in 2019 while Pleasant Grove went on to claim the 6A title. In 2020, those roles reversed and Jardine got the state championship she worked so hard to win.

“I’ve always been a gym rat,” Jardine said. “During the summer I would be in the gym six hours a day if I could. I’ve always been a workaholic for volleyball. It’s OK to give up my free time. I’ve got too much of it now anyway.”

Jardine said she was recruited by BYU and coach Heather Olmstead but the Cougars signed someone else who plays Jardine’s outside hitter position. She was intrigued by Wisconsin and went to a volleyball camp in Madison.

“I did a lot of research,” Jardine said. “When Wisconsin offered me I literally jumped up and down. There was not a doubt in my mind that was the place where I should go. They really care a lot about their athletes and I always felt like part of the team even though I had just committed.”

Jardine committed to the Badger program in July of 2019 and signed her letter-of-intent earlier this month.

“Lauren is an exciting prospect,” Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said. “ She has the potential to be an elite attacker for us and a six-rotation player. She gets off the floor quick and has a whip for an arm. She’s probably one of the better leapers we’ve brought in since we’ve been here. Lauren is a competitor who loves being in the gym and finding ways to get better. There is a hunger and a drive that I really like about her.”

Jardine will enjoy the holidays with her family and join her Wisconsin teammates in January for winter semester.

“It’s going to be colder,” Jardine said. “When I went there to visit, I felt a lot of peace. There’s a lot of things to do in Madison and it’s a lot like Provo as a college town. It’s freaking gorgeous there and the sunsets are amazing.”

Jardine said he plans to study computer technology or something in the medical field with hopes of getting into environmental engineering. She’s also ready to go to work on the volleyball court.

“As a freshman, there is going to be a lot of grinding, and I’m OK with that,” Jardine said. “I’ll be working hard in the gym and in the weight room, along with the work in the classroom to get to the level of education I feel is necessary. I’m be getting to know my peers and the team as well as getting to know myself in the college setting. My new family out there will be really helpful to go through rough times.”

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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