When athletics runs in the family: Ohio volleyball’s Lexie Hartnett

Growing up in an environment in which athletics and competition is the standard is not always easy. The competing efforts of friends and family members can often create an atmosphere of pressure and rivalry. Redshirt junior Lexie Hartnett does not see it this way, however.

Ohio University Athletic Department: 2012-09-07 vs. Niagara &emdash; 20120907-5085-AG

Hartnett spikes the ball aggressively against Niagara. (Photo by Ohio Athletics)

“We have an athletic family in general and it (playing sports) is just kind of the norm, I enjoyed it. It created an environment where I could succeed as an athlete,” Hartnett said.

Hartnett is a standout player on the Bobcat volleyball team and was named to the All-MAC second team last year.  She also finished the season second in the MAC in blocks with 108. Hartnett has acquired a string of impressive accolades during her time at Ohio University.

Perhaps Hartnett has acquired some of her parents’ athletic talent. Her parents were both two-sport athletes at Franklin and Marshall University in Pennsylvania. Her father played baseball and football, while her mother competed in soccer and ran track.

Surrounded by experienced athletes, Hartnett grew up trying a multitude of different sports from an early age, experimenting with softball, field hockey and basketball.

Hartnett says her other favorite sport, aside from volleyball, is actually rugby and admits to getting really invested in the sport throughout her middle school and high school years.

Even with this second talent, Hartnett cannot see herself being a two-sport varsity athlete at OU. However, her athletic build has not gone unnoticed.

“I was actually recruited to play rugby by people outside of Baker one day when they saw my height. I told them I actually used to play, but I couldn’t, obviously, because of volleyball,” she said.

Hartnett enjoys going to play other sports just for fun at Ping and around campus, but concedes that playing a varsity sport is similar to a full-time job. She also affirmed that it takes a lot of mental and physical toughness to be ready to play every day.

Even with these difficulties, Hartnett believes that the advantages outweigh any drawbacks.

“It does take a lot of time and mental and physical energy just to be ready to go every day, but I love it, and I love the toughness it takes to be an athlete here at Ohio.”

Whether it was due to being raised in an environment where athletics and competition was the standard, or due to her own developed drive and passion, Hartnett continues to promote the ambition and hunger needed to be successful this season while looking to her teammates for help.

“It is the year-long dedication we have put into it and the drive and spirit from my teammates that helps all of us keep going,” she said.

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