Photos Courtesy of The Lenz Family and NDSU Athletics
Even though Lana Lenz’s volleyball career at NDSU was cut short, appendicitis couldn’t keep this middle hitter from strengthening her bond with peers across all athletic departments. In fact, the nose guard she’d bowl against in class would eventually become her husband.
In Lana’s Words: When Lana met Paul
He ended up in my bowling class for physical education and made a bet with me if I could get a split or not. During the preseason, the volleyball players and football players always hung out and then once school started, we always ended up in the dining center at the same time when practice was over.
PLAYING VOLLEYBALL AT NDSU
Bison volleyball was amazing. I totally respected my coaches and teammates, and we had lots of great talent. In fact, my sophomore year we went to the national championship and made it to the Final Four.
Even today, I can use what I learned there when I’m dealing with students or other athletes. It’s something I’ve carried on in a different way, but I don’t regret having that opportunity to watch Paul.
DEDICATED TO COACHING
When I first started teaching, I was the head volleyball coach, head softball coach and senior class advisor, which I absolutely loved because I knew all the students and was very involved. I still do (sports) announcing and official score-keeping for the high school volleyball team in Hutchinson, but I’ve stepped back since my semi-retirement.
It’s rewarding to see what you can do for your body and what you can obtain by just working hard. I think a lot of programs in our society today, only the best of the best get pushed and we don’t have expectations for everybody to be as best as they can. So I appreciated that Donna (Palivec) pushed everybody at the same level.
WHAT BISON PRIDE MEANS TO LANA
We’ve traveled all over, and we’re still running into Bison everywhere we go. It starts up a whole conversation about the program or what a wonderful experience people had. It’s just a great speaking tool that opens up a conversation.