NEW MARKET – A decade ago, North Montgomery volleyball won
their first Sectional championship in five years. They were ranked No. 9 in
Class 2A and were led by senior Lauran Thompson.
Fast forward ten years and Thompson has donned a new last
name of Nichols, played four years of college volleyball at IUPUI and been
appointed a head volleyball coach . . . but not for North Montgomery.
Coach Nichols will be leading the Southmont Mounties, who
finished 3-26, 0-7 Sagamore Conference last year.
She graduated from IUPUI in 2011 and was an assistant coach
for the Mounties in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons under Erin Barry.
“I love volleyball so I missed it a lot when I didn’t’ help
last year,” Nichols said. “I missed the girls.”
After graduating college, Nichols hadn’t considered coaching
until Mountie athletic director Aaron Charles approached her to work as an
assistant. She saw this as the next step.
“You play volleyball for so long then you get out of it and
you’re like, ‘what do I do now?’” Nichols said. “Coaching was the next thing. I
hadn’t ever thought I wanted to coach when I’m older but that was the best
option to stay around the game.”
Nichols works as a nurse at IU Health Arnette Hospital but
she found a way to make the hours work.
The head coaching position comes with more responsibility
and commitment but she will bring her two years of assisting experience along
with her. She summarized her favorite part about coaching.
“Seeing it click for them and seeing them improve, that’s
been the most exciting part,” Nichols said.
Nichols was an outside hitter at IUPUI and also contributed
a lot to the back row. For North Montgomery, she had her kill-high at the
Sectional game her senior year with 17 total kills and also had the team-high
of 14 digs that game. She was named The Paper’s 2006 Volleyball Player of the
This year’s County matchup between Southmont and North
Montgomery comes pretty early in the season on Aug. 30 at home. She will be
facing her high school coach Jodi Webster.
“It’ll be fun,” Nichols said. “They’re always a good team so
it will be a good rival game.”
The Charger and the Jaguar have melded into a Mountie as
Nichols leads the Southmont volleyball team into the season.