April 5, 2012
Rice University volleyball student-athlete Laurie McNamara is the recipient of not one, but two honors from the Side-Out Foundation.
McNamara, from Coppell, Texas, was a member of the Side-Out Ambassador Program (SOAP) and she has been awarded one of seven SOAP Scholarship Awards as well as one of eight SOAP Community Service Awards.
McNamara represented the Owls volleyball squad during its Dig Pink campaign for the 2011 season. She showed exceptional commitment to Rice, the community, and in raising funds for breast cancer awareness.
Says McNamara's head coach Genny Volpe, "Laurie is one of those special individuals that's driven to be a well-rounded person. She impacts the team in many ways by organizing several community service events and she spends a lot of her down time in the community.
"I am really proud of Laurie because she embodies what a scholar-athlete is at Rice, someone that is driven to be their best on the court, in the classroom, and in the community and she represents Rice in each of those aspects."
With a 3.9 grade point average, McNamara was named to the 2011 Conference USA All-Academic squad and she received the team's 2011 Commitment Award. McNamara, one of the squad's co-captains, was second on the team in kills per set with a 2.51 average and second in kills with 294 during the 2011 campaign.
"This really means a lot to me, because working with the Side-Out Foundation is something that I have wanted to do for some time. I worked on a Dig For the Cure event while in high school and it is something that I am really passionate about. I am passionate about helping people," stated McNamara. "My grandmother was diagnosed this year with breast cancer, she's in the clear now, but it just means a lot to be acknowledged for all of the hard work that I have put into this.
"I couldn't have done it without the amazing support and generosity of the Rice volleyball community. My teammates and I worked hard to raise awareness and spread the word and I am happy to have been a part of a successful event."
Besides working with the Side-Out Foundation, McNamara also spends at least three hours per week at Texas Children's Hospital as a volunteer and she worked as a volunteer at the Texas Med 5K that was sponsored by Ben Taub General Hospital.
The Side-Out Foundation (Side-Out) was established in 2004 to unite volleyball players and coaches and to have them work toward the common goal of furthering breast cancer awareness, education and patient services. Side-Out supports teams nationwide in their volleyball tournaments, clinics, and other fundraising efforts.