Allison Beaton is following in her sister’s footsteps while also paving her own path in the volleyball program at Lafayette. The 6-foot-1 middle hitter for the Lancers is the third of three sisters to thrive in the program under coach Zach Young.
Ashley, the oldest sister, is currently working an internship at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. She helped Lafayette win two state titles. Amanda is currently playing volleyball at the University of Central Arkansas.
“I look up to my sisters a lot,” Allison Beaton said. “They are and have been my role models.”
The youngest Beaton, Allison, is also a good athlete. She has committed to play at Truman State and will sign her national letter of intent Nov. 13.
“I have been playing volleyball since I was 8 years old,” Beaton said. “I tried out all different sports but I think I was attracted to volleyball the most because both of my sisters played and I love the fast pace and competitiveness.”
Last season, Beaton averaged 2.63 kills and .89 blocks per set. She was a key factor in helping Lafayette compile a 31-6-3 record.
“It’s been awesome to see her game rise to a new level each year,” Young said. “She has also developed into a good leader this season as a senior. We were aware of Allison from the time she was very young due to her sisters being in the program. We knew right from the start that she had the potential to be a great player.”
Unlike her sisters, Beaton stands out as a middle hitter.
“I started out wanting to be an outside hitter just like my sisters, but in one of my first years I was switched to the middle,” Beaton said. “It most definitely has its challenges but being a middle is so powerful and super fast pace, it keeps me on my toes.”
While Beaton’s height gives her an advantage, according to Young, Beaton’s versatility is her greatest asset.
“She can run a variety of sets and finds lots of different ways to score,” Young said
In her first three years in the program, Beaton said her experiences were “super exciting.”
“This program is so special,” Beaton said. “Every player that comes through has such a passion for the game and we are all so close.”
When Lafayette won during her freshman year, Beaton was on the junior varsity team.
“It was so fun to watch and as a freshman it was great to have such a great team to look up too,” Beaton said.
She had a major role with the Lancers last season. However, Lafayette fell to Eureka in the Class 4 state championship match.
“Our climb to the state championship was tough,” Beaton said. “We weren’t expected to make it as far as we did. We had such great team chemistry last year and we all worked really hard each day. Losing to Eureka in the finals was hard, but I think we gave it our all and Eureka had an amazing match.”
Naturally, Beaton and her teammates want another chance this fall.
“Getting to the Final Four and winning it all this year would be awesome,” Beaton said. “That is definitely a goal of mine and of the teams…I believe we can, but I know it won’t be easy. I have always dreamed of getting my name on a banner in the gym right next to my sisters.”
Beaton is team captain this year along with her teammates Lexi Basler and Shannon McLain. Beaton was also a captain in her sophomore year on JV.
“I have learned a lot about being captain and I think that is my favorite part,” Beaton said. “I get to see the behind the scenes and what really goes into a successful team.”
Young also praised Beaton’s skills as a team captain and player.
“She’s unselfish and all about the team,” Young said.
Beaton is looking forward to her next step in life after graduation.
“I am so excited for Truman. When I went on my first visit there it felt like home and that was huge for me,” Beaton said. “The girls and the coaches are so nice and welcoming. I can’t wait to go.”
Young will have to do without any more Beatons in his program.
“The Beaton family is amazing,” Young said. “Unfortunately, she is the last Beaton to play for us. We’ve had them in our program for 11 years and I’m not sure what we’re going to do when they’re gone.”