Sophomore infielder Lauren Gibson is in the middle of her second season as a Lady Vol, and she continues to support her team through her optimism and effort.
After coming to UT in the fall of 2009, Gibson enjoyed the Southern hospitality of the people around her and the chemistry of the teammates she worked with. Her decision to come to UT was based on a visit that managed to show her all the possibilities of being a Lady Vol.
"I really enjoyed the girls on the team and the people in general," Gibson said. "It seems like in Tennessee, everybody's really nice, down-to-earth people, and I really enjoy that."
During her time at UT, the Lady Vols have continued that team spirit and chemistry, which binds the team together and reminds Gibson of why she came to UT. In both her freshman and sophomore years at the university, Gibson discovered the likenesses and differences that hold the team together so strongly and determine the team's capabilities on the field.
"It's actually really shocking how you can get 20 girls together but have this chemistry," Gibson said. "If a team doesn't have good chemistry, you're probably not going to be very successful, because if you don't get along with your team or your team doesn't get along, you're not going to have a good year. Because we have so much chemistry, we can have a successful team."
Gibson's experience on the team has been anything but uneventful, and she said the leadership of the team has had a profound impact on the team and its success.
Senior center fielder Kelly Grieve said that the team's performance against Auburn last week showed the Lady Vols' ability to overcome obstacles and work together, whatever the task may be.
"We are a very resilient team," Grieve said. "We never quit. It doesn't matter what inning or how down we are. I kind of like games like this, because it gives me confidence that if we are behind in the seventh inning, my team will definitely pull through."
Though Gibson plans to work as a veterinarian after graduating, her life now consists of school, sports and her team. As she enters her junior year as a Lady Vol, Gibson wants to step up and serve the team as a leader and contribute as much as she can.
"I feel like everyone on the team is a leader and I feel like everyone brings something different to the team," Gibson said. "I hope that I can contribute to the team as a leader."
Gibson said that though it's difficult to have personal goals as a player and be on such a chemistry-oriented team, she hopes to help the team reach the College Softball World Series.
Her personal goals are team goals, and her team goals are her personal goals.
"Personally, I just want us as a team to win the World Series and win the SEC tournament," Gibson said. "You honestly can't have personal goals. I just hope I can help my team go to the World Series and win it."
Gibson's time at UT as a Lady Vol has not been wasted, and she does not regret her decision to come. Gibson said she is glad she came and she is excited for the future.
"Every second that I've spent here at UT, I've really enjoyed," Gibson said. "I tell people when they ask if I'm glad I went to UT my answer is for sure yes. I've enjoyed the team, and I've enjoyed the school itself. I've enjoyed the sports, going to the football games and all that kind of stuff. It's a lot of fun."