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That’s a Wrap

That’s a Wrap

It was a blast getting to share these past few weeks with y’all! I hope that this blog gave you a little bit of direction for the road you’re on. Let’s recap this awesome journey.

Sister, Sister

Reagan Walsh joined us on the blog to give an inside look at life as a division 1 college athlete. She spoke wisdom to those transitioning out of High School and searching for the right college to further their education. Reagan’s career has just begun but her success has made a statement. She is a force to be reckoned with as the 2023 softball season approaches. Read Now

Feelin’ Twenty-Two

Lauren Walsh shares her personal story and advice from the roads she has found herself on during her twenty-two years on earth. Through mistakes, breakups, and hardships, Lauren speaks to those needing a bit of direction in their early twenties. “Be kind, invest in valuable relationships, trust in God’s plan, and don’t let time pass you by holding onto grudges.” Read Now

Relationships, Dating, and Breakups

Kristin Strauss joined the blog for this very fun episode of Road I’m On. Kristin shared advice for those entering the dating world, what to look for, red-flags, and her funniest first-date stories. This blog involved a bunch of laughter and memories of the past with lessons learned for the future. Read Now 

Vet On Southwest

Lauren Walsh shared a story of a veteran she met on a Southwest Airlines flight. The veteran named Rich, spoke so much wisdom from his time in the Vietnam war. His story was too good not to be told. This blog was a personal favorite! Read Now 

This Wasn’t in The Play Call

An emotional and personal reflection of a devastating injury faced by Lauren Walsh during a volleyball game. The game that would ultimately be the last of her career. This blog post is real, truthful, and inspirational to those who may be struggling with the road they are on. Read Now

The Road Not Taken

An interpretation of Robert Frost’s world-renowned poem. How embarking on the road less traveled may make all the difference in your life. A change in direction is an opportunity to make your story stand out from the rest. Read Now

Texas to Tuscany

Halee VanPoppel joined the blog to share her story and spark motivation for those wanting to embark on a new adventure. Halee is a former college volleyball player and is currently playing professionally overseas in Rome! She shared what encouraged her to move from Texas to Tuscany. Read Now 

Convo’s and Cracker Barrel

Get an inside look at life on the road with the Belmont Volleyball team. Documented was the last trip of the season, traveling to Indiana. Learn about what goes on before game day and how simple conversations at Cracker Barrel brings the team together. Read Now

She Means Business

Kellie Walsh joins the blog to share how she became successful in her career at such a young age. She speaks valuable advice to those seeking internships and are facing uncertainty with what to do after college. With hard work and perseverance, Kellie climbed the cooperate latter, enabling her to purchase her first home. Read Now

Seeing The Good This Thanksgiving

In honor of Thanksgiving, this blog post was a reflection of the past year and a new perspective for life. Turning a tragic ending into part of one’s story and not the whole story. Even in the midst of trials, there is so much to be grateful for this holiday season. Read Now

Super Woman

To close out this blog, our very special guest Sheri Holmes joined us to share her unique story. How a mother to four, wife, and full-time business woman does it all. How her faith shaped her unprecedented journey through several roads of life and her impact on the roads of others along the way. Read Now

“My hope for you was that along this campaign, you were able to receive advice for the road you’re on. And if not, at least some laughter, relatability, and joy during these guests appearances. Life is gonna have some bumpy moments but regardless of road you find yourself on, TRUST the man with the compass. Keep walking.”

– Your friend, Lauren 🙂

friendships sports travel

Convo’s & Cracker Barrel

Convo’s & Cracker Barrel

Final road trip of the season. A bitter sweet experience, time, and journey. The road Belmont volleyball was on in literal terms consisted of highway US-41 and I-69. But what the road really meant, was one last trip together as a team before we go our separate ways. Gone home for the holidays and some, gone for good.

What is it like on the road? Long days and some sleepless nights. Early practices and take-out. Bus dances, Starbucks runs, and karaoke. Road trips are where we talk as more than simply players but as best friends. Laughing, singing, sharing stories, and finding any way possible to get in a comfortable position on the bus. All while, holding back the nerves that come with knowing that game day is just a few hours away.

On this trip, I was injured but I knew I couldn’t miss it. This was the last rodeo, last long drive, and last of delirious laughs with my team. When you’re an underclassman on these trips, it’s easy to look forward to the next thing. Always impatient with where your feet are, constantly flipping to the next, like sticky notes that never run out. But sometimes, if you’re anything like me, all it takes is conversations at Cracker Barrel to remind you of just how lucky you are to be surrounded by built-in best friends.

That’s the special part about being on a sports team. The 17 of us did not choose each other yet, somehow our worlds collided at perfect time. Divine timing. We never would have thought that a California, Ohio, Oregon, and Kentucky girl would one day be sitting around a Cracker Barrel table in Evansville, Indiana. What are the odds? Slim to none.

The four of us told stories and learned more about the people we are behind the jersey. With limited ideas left for this blog, it occurred to me that the greatest story was right in front of me. We are of 1% of women that get to compete in Division 1 sports. The four of us are from different parts of the country but managed to make it to one University among thousands. We are different yet, alike. Living and learning together on a road very few before us have traveled.

I recall being on this bus as a freshman wondering how I’d ever get through it. Now I’m through it and would do it all over again. Time goes by fast. What I hope for is more convos at Cracker Barrel. For the girls that come after me to see the beauty in eating around a table with your team in the middle of nowhere on a Friday night. Sure, there will be times when you’ll wish your evening looked like those partying back home. But don’t let this time pass you by, very few get these moments, as unconventional as they are, you’re going to remember them forever. Screaming on the bus at the top of our lungs, “dixie land delight” or karaoke with the bus mic. Making bathroom breaks in the middle of the night, driving through endless miles of corn fields, and reckless bus drivers. Even if it meant cruching through the snow post-surgery, these memories are worth it.

I do not think it will hit me that this was my last trip with the team. Sweet silence, squeaky windows, and bright lights from outside all disguise this reality. The Belmont volleyball team sleeps, someone reeks, and all is right in the world:)

If your road looks daunting, long, and tedious and you wonder if you’ll ever make it to the end. You will and the time will go fast. Take a moment to appreciate the friends you make along the road you’re on. And if it helps, have a convo at Cracker Barrel.


Cracker Barrel



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Texas to Tuscany Part II

Texas to Tuscany Part II

Halee VanPoppel and Lauren Walsh reminisce of their time together on the volleyball court. The two touch on some of their hardest seasons and how they navigated these challenges together.

Playing a college sport is hard. Often times, the perception of college athletics is glamorized by public perception. With the lack of candidness as to what being a student athlete really looks like, many miss just how much work goes into the job. It takes a lot of practice, perseverance, time, and energy. In that process, the road can get bumpy. In many ways this season of Halee and Lauren’s life tested their faith, character, and strength. And with these lessons learned, the two have gotten way more out of the sport than simply the sport alone.

For Halee, volleyball has given her the opportunity to play another season in Rome, Italy and see the world! For Lauren, the sport gave her the opportunity to travel 2,000+ miles from home and experience a whole new life in the south. Mutually, the two are thankful that the sport gave them each other:)

Listen to their stories and advice during the road of college sports now.


Read Part I


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Texas to Tuscany

How a small town girl packed up her life and embarked on a new journey in Europe

Halee Van Poppel is a well known talent in the south. She has made a name for herself as a successful figure in women’s volleyball and continues to do so overseas. During her junior year at Belmont, Halee played in all 31 matches, seeing action in 106 sets and earning 10 starts … Finished season nationally ranked 88th in total attacks, 128th in attacks per set and 142nd in total kills. After 4 seasons with Belmont University, Halee furthered her career at Dallas Baptist University where she was named, AVCA DII All- American Honorable Mention, All-conference Newcomer of the Year, and All- Conference First Team. Halee is now apart of the Roma7 Volleyball team in Rome, Italy.

Halee has experienced a lot in her career and can speak to challenges one might face in college sports, leaving home, and finding the love of the game again.

Halee now finds herself on the roads of Rome finding new purpose, faith, and identity in this season of life. Listen to this and more in the conversation linked below.

As a close friend, I am so proud of Halee’s accomplishments and all that she has done with her talent. She has been such a role model to me in my career and has greatly influenced the person I am today.

Watch part one of our conversation now.





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Relationships, Dating, & Breakups

This week on the blog, Kristin Strauss shares her advice for relationships, dating, and breakups. In this must-see interview, we answer common questions for those entering the dating game such as what to look for, red-flags, knowing your value, and much more. Interview includes personal stories and fun memories! Watch the video below.

About Kristin
Kristin Strauss is a former volleyball player and current college student. She is in pursuit of a degree in psychology at GCU while holding a job position at a local infant day care center. Kristin and Lauren have been friends for over 8 years:) It all started at a volleyball tryout and they have been besties since. The two have had their share of relationships, making them the perfect duo to speak some advice into the lives of those who are traveling the same road.

Advice from Kristin + Lauren
Dating can be tough. I know that road for me has been a bit bumpy. My advice for girls entering the dating world is to know your worth and stay true to who you are. No matter who you may be going out with, the right one will respect you and love you, for you. Don’t let the influence of society shake the foundation you stand on. Hold tight to your core values that shape who you are, it makes you stand out from the rest. – Lauren

The best advice I could provide is not to settle. So many relationships today are centered around mistrust, cheating, and all the physical aspects of dating. Creating a toxic and unfulfilled relationship on both ends. These relationships often cause women to be taken advantage of and forget their true value. God will place the right person at the right time in your life, don’t rush it. -Kristin

Listen to more of what these best-friends have say in the video below.

Keep walking my friend 🙂


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