Bridgewater Athletics Alumni Spotlight

Lauren Grove Showed Versatility as she Switched Between Basketball and Lacrosse at Bridgewater

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  • Grove and her “Queen Bees” captures the 2017 VHSL Volleyball State Championship in a 5 set thriller.

  • Lauren Grove was named to the All-ODAC Team twice in her career.

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Leyton Pullin, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Lauren Grove graduated from Bridgewater College in 2009 as Lauren Kondor. While at Bridgewater, Grove played women’s lacrosse and women’s basketball. Grove graduated from nearby Fort Defiance High School prior to coming to Bridgewater. “I toured all the schools people from this area do. JMU, Virginia Tech, Radford, and then Bridgewater,” said Grove. She eventually made her decision to come to Bridgewater College, because of the small class sizes the college offered. 

Coming into her freshman year, Grove was recruited to play basketball under legendary Eagles Women’s Basketball Coach Jean Willi. During her freshman year, Grove would only see the floor in five games for a total of 19 minutes with ten points. At the end of her freshman basketball season, Grove was approached by the Lacrosse program to come play for a team that was struggling. 

“The coach at the time thought me and another one of my teammates were a good fit even though we had never played before,” Grove said.

Grove found herself in the starting lineup of the lacrosse team two weeks into her freshman year. She would play in all but one of those games and would return to the program all four years, putting up 33 goals and nine assists in 58 career games. 

Grove found herself named All-ODAC twice in her career after her junior and senior season. Grove also finds her name in the Bridgewater Women’s Lacrosse Record Book in the top ten all time in draw controls, caused turnovers and ground balls. 

After graduation, Grove returned to BC as an assistant coach for one season before taking a physical education teacher position at Wilson Memorial High School in Fishersville, Virginia in 2010. Grove become the head varsity volleyball coach at the school in 2013, despite never playing volleyball in high school or college. 

“In the interview they kept mentioning volleyball and I hadn’t had any experience with it. In high school the coach at the time had begged me to play and I told her, ‘I’m not wearing spandex’,” Grove said. 

The adaptability she showed by picking up lacrosse on the fly during her freshman year at BC would prove useful for her new coaching career. 

“YouTube was my friend,” Grove said about learning more about volleyball when it came to coaching. 

Grove have several deep postseason runs with rosters full of talent. She reached the ultimate goal of any high school coach in 2017 as her Green Hornet Volleyball team would capture the VHSL 2A State Championship, the first in the program’s history since 1999. Out of that team also came three current Eastern Mennonite University Royals: junior Hannah Johnson, freshman Olivia Bower, and freshman Paris Hutchinson. 

In 2019, her Hornets faced a new obstacle as they were shifted up a classification due to school attendance size. Grove was still able to adapt as her ladies qualified for the regional tournament and would come up one win short of a state tournament berth, losing to none other than her alma mater Fort Defiance.         

After the 2019 season, Grove’s career coaching record sits at 116-49 with a career win percentage of 70.3. From the beginning of the team’s 2017 title run she is 66-10(.868) in the last three seasons.

 Grove has also been named the News Leader All-City/ County Coach of the Year twice — once 2013 in her first season as a head coach and again in 2017 after the state championship win. 

Grove finished her MA in Educational Leadership from James Madison University in 2019. Grove is married to her husband Andrew, who is the athletic director at Buffalo Gap High School. The two have two kids 

Grove is currently still a physical education and drivers education teacher at Wilson Memorial. She is now patiently waiting for volleyball season to roll around, which at the moment is scheduled to begin on February 15, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.