Lenoir-Rhyne University announced Tuesday that six new members would be inducted into its Sports Hall of Fame this year. Among them is a volleyball player that also enjoyed a stellar career at West Iredell High School before helping elevate L-R’s program.
Lauren (McLelland) Mauldin joins Crystal Clary, Bill Davis, Audrey Kreske, Vernon Long and Tom Lumsden to make up the Class of 2019.
“I was very surprised and, of course, honored to be selected,” Mauldin said.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be part of Lenoir-Rhyne’s Homecoming weekend and will take place in the P.E. Monroe Auditorium on L-R’s campus at 11 a.m., Oct. 5.
The six inductees will also be honored during Lenoir-Rhyne’s football game against UVA-Wise at Moretz Stadium that same day. It features a 2 p.m. kickoff.
“We are delighted to welcome these individuals to the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame,” L-R Athletic Director Kim Pate said in a prepared statement. “These six honorees are some of the finest student-athletes to play here and represent a tremendous class. We look forward to honoring them this fall.”
Mauldin stands as the best setter in the history of the Lenoir-Rhyne volleyball program. Her 5,558 career assists are 1,777 more than anyone having worn the Bears uniform.
“My stats as a setter, I’m only as good as my teammates,” Mauldin said. “My teammates made those possible. I really don’t know what else to say about (the induction). I’m excited and honored. It will be a neat thing.”
Mauldin was the starting setter for the 2004 conference championship team, the first South Atlantic Conference championship in program history.
She led the Bears to a pair of SAC titles and was named the league’s Freshman of the Year in 2004 and second team All-Conference in 2006.
On top of career assists, Mauldin owns the record for single-season assists (1,671), single-season assists per set (12.11) and career assists per set (10.98).
“I was able to start my freshman year, which was really cool,” she said. “I remember our first weekend at home we beat Wingate and somebody else. It was super exciting. That was just sort of the start of that season and we won the conference and went to regionals. It was really fun. All four years were great. I played with some really great players and people.”
Her successful career at L-R followed an impressive one at West Iredell.
As the go-to setter, Mauldin—then McLelland—was instrumental in leading West Iredell to the 2A West region finals in back-to-back seasons (2002-03). The Warriors won and advanced to the 2A state championship match in 2002 when Mauldin, then a junior, guided West Iredell to Raleigh for the first time. The Warriors took a set off Southern Vance before ultimately losing in four and finishing as the 2A state runners up.
Mauldin graduated from L-R in 2008 with a B.A. in mathematics education. She earned her M.A. in teaching with a concentration in secondary education from California University (PA) in 2011. The 2019-2020 academic year marks her 12th year teaching and sixth at Mount Pleasant High School.
In addition to her teaching profession, Mauldin also officiates volleyball at the collegiate level.