Lauren McCutcheon says she doesn’t feel any different than anyone else.
The truth is that the J.L. Mann junior may not be giving herself enough credit. McCutcheon racked up some impressive numbers on the volleyball court last season and gained state and national attention — despite being deaf.
McCutcheon, however, hasn’t allowed that be an issue.
The J.L. Mann Patriots outside hitter was named the Region 1-AAAAA Player of the Year and also earned all-state honors this past season. She was named the state’s American Volleyball Coaches Association Player of the Week during the season. She led the region with 358 kills and added 42 aces, 41 blocks and 224 digs. She has been named to the AVCA Phenom watch list, JVA watch list and Hub City all-tournament team.
With those numbers, it’s no wonder McCutcheon is getting the attention of college coaches. McCutcheon was born deaf and received an implant in her right ear at the age of 18 months. However, the University of South Carolina commit says when she hits the floor, everyone is equal.
“I’ve been fortunate to have played at Mann since eighth grade, so my teammates and I have become very comfortable together,” she said. “There are times my device goes out and they are great about looking at me so I can read lips or signaling with their hands to get my attention. I just love to compete, as well, and don’t consider myself any different than anyone. I just want to play every point like it’s a match point and give everything I can for my team.”
That attitude has translated into being a top recruit — not just in the area, but nationally. Making her college decision, though, one could say she was born to play at Carolina.
“I just love to compete, as well, and don’t consider myself any different than anyone. I just want to play every point like it’s a match point and give everything I can for my team.” – Lauren McCutcheon
Her dad, Jason Pomar, was a two-sport athlete in football and baseball for the Gamecocks, and her mom, Kendra Stout, was a softball standout.
McCutcheon said that it was an easy decision to spend her college years in Columbia.
“I did receive several offers, but I narrowed it down to Oklahoma and (USC),” she said. “I loved everything about OU — the athletic culture, the direction the program is heading and coaches. But I’ve grown up a Gamecock fan. My mom played softball there and my dad played football and baseball there, so I wanted to be a part of the volleyball program continuing to make a national mark and also continue the family legacy. My oldest sister, Jordyn, is also a freshman there. The coaching staff is top notch, and I love the idea of my family getting to watch us compete.”