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It wasn’t luck

Warren’s Lucks will continue volleyball career at Cal U of PA

Warren senior Summer Lucks will continue her academic and athletic career at California University of Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Mark Evans

Summer Lucks wrote it into existence.

“She sets high goals,” said her father, Jesse. “In fact, there have been a few Post-it notes on her bathroom mirror for a very long time. I am referring to the D10 championship and Warren Area High’s digs record.”

She’s good at handling a lot on her plate. Next up, she’ll continue being a student-athlete on California University of Pennsylvania’s Division II volleyball team, beginning next fall.

“Summer is an excellent student, a hard-working volleyball player, and a very sweet daughter,” said her mother, Inchong. “I am very grateful and incredibly proud of her academic achievements, particularly in the subjects of mathematics and chemistry. Summer consistently excels because of her dedication and hard work. Somehow she finds motivation to reach all of her goals.”

Summer doesn’t mind having a lot on her plate; the proof being how she plays the libero (back-row defensive specialist) position.

Lucks signs her letter of intent while flanked by her mother, Inchong, and father, Jesse.

“It definitely comes with a lot of tasks to excel in, such as serve-receive, defense, and second ball, but that’s what I love about it,” said Lucks, who broke Warren’s all-time digs record with a career 1,414. She also broke the program’s all-time serve-receptions record with 1,781. “The role includes significant leadership responsibilities as well. I’m expected to be in charge of the back row and be one of the loudest girls on the court.

“I love how interactive and competitive the game is,” she said. “The thrill of playing a high-stake match is like no other. After swimming most of my life, I really enjoyed the team aspect of the sport… I was blessed with an amazing coach who introduced me to the game and lots of helpful teammates along the way. Staying after practice to get extra reps, watching videos and learning everything I could about the game, going to every camp I could over the summer, and making sure I gave 110 percent every practice definitely helped me improve over the years. Going into my junior year of high school, I began to see a change in my play after the hard work over that summer. I knew I always wanted to play (college) volleyball somewhere, but halfway through my junior year, I realized that I could potentially be able to play in a higher division than I thought I would.

“During my junior year, my recruiting process started,” added Lucks. “After talking to a lot of different schools, I felt that I would enjoy my time most at Cal U. They had everything I was looking for and a great volleyball program… I’ll be studying Chemistry and Biochemistry. I’m looking forward to the transition from high school to a faster pace of volleyball with a competitive season and coaching that will push me to my potential.”

Prior to joining Cal U, Summer will be playing tournament volleyball this summer with the Erie Elite Maui 18s. She’s not one to sit on her hands and not push herself.

“Summer was born a preemie, almost two months early,” said her father. “It’s a little scary looking back at it today, but it’s proof that Summer has been a fighter since birth. Inchong and I were blessed to bring her into this world, and we will always be grateful for His grace. I quote the late Bob Proctor, ‘If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hands.’ I’m so proud of Summer for developing that kind of positive mindset. She has been fortunate to have encouraging family, teachers, coaches, and friends. Summer has already accomplished so many great things. She has developed into an intelligent, ambitious, creative, and determined young woman. I’m excited for her next steps… Volleyball is Summer’s passion; it makes her smile. It’s been astonishing to watch her grow into the athlete and overall person that she has become today. I am excited to watch her play as a Vulcan. All in all, Summer is a natural leader. I know that wherever she goes, whatever she does, success will always follow.”

Summer Lucks graduates with the most digs in Warren girls volleyball history with 1,414. Photo courtesy of Mark Evans

That success was evident when Summer’s 568 digs (5.3 per set) and 552 serve-receptions this season helped Warren win its second District 10 championship in program history. She had 39 digs (or 7.8 per set) in a 3-2 win over Meadville in the Class 3A title match.

“Summer has certainly left an enduring legacy at the libero position and as a Warren Dragon volleyball player,” said Warren head coach Mike Dolan. “Anyone who saw Summer play this year came away impressed with her skill and ability to frustrate our opponents with her awesome back-row play, making jaw-dropping digs, passing dimes, and serving clutch. She’ll be an outstanding addition to Cal U in many ways, both on the court as a player and especially as a great teammate. All throughout her high school career leading up to this season, it was her willingness to learn from the upperclassmen and continually grow her game and improve that led her to become such a standout leader and teammate this season. She and the other seniors led the way with their work ethic, in the weight room, in practice, and in every competition. Of course, it will be extremely hard if not impossible to replace Summer’s play next season, but I’m confident the underclassmen have learned so much from her and will continue her legacy.”

Summer will miss her teammates and coaches the most.

“Even though I’m excited for the next chapter, I’m sad to leave my best friends,” she said. “After losing last year to Conneaut in the D10 championship game, we came back that summer more determined than ever. Since it was a young team last year, almost every girl on the team had known how it felt and everyone was ready to work. This year, we really focused on what we needed to work on that hurt us last year, and we started preparing for what we knew we would see in the finals. At the end of the day, we knew that we could accomplish our goal if we stayed focused and confident.

“A mentor on the volleyball court was Katie Madigan,” said Lucks. “As a freshman and sophomore, I learned so much from her and really looked up to her as a captain and teammate. A huge hero of mine is my aunt Kristen, she has inspired me to work hard at everything I do. She has influenced my life more than I can ever say. I know that she will always support me in what I do.

“I am the person I am today because of a combination of factors; one significant influence has been the responsibility of being a student-athlete,” she said. “This role has taught me discipline, teamwork, and perseverance which all have greatly contributed to shaping who I am. My family has shaped me into the person I am as well; they have shown me the value of hard work, dedication, and resilience that I’ve valued in having as characteristics.”

Characteristics that led Summer to becoming a team captain and leader herself.

“When it comes to volleyball, I am specifically impressed with her commitment to the sport and dedication to the team,” said her mother, Inchong. “Win or lose, Summer has always been a good sport and has demonstrated strong leadership qualities. Her involvement in activities like the National Honor Society, Student Council, and athletics have contributed to her growth as an individual and valuable community member. Overall, I am immensely proud of my daughter for her academic achievements, her love for volleyball, and her selflessness. Regardless of the dream, Jesse and I will always support her. I have no doubt that she will continue to shine brightly in all her future endeavors, it will always be ‘Summer Time.'”

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