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Freshman Lauren Tharp was always a Kentucky fan

Lauren Tharp

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky freshman libero Lauren Tharp had a lot of University of Louisville fans around her growing up in Louisville.

Most of them thought the former Mercy Academy standout should play her college volleyball for the Cardinals, but she committed to Kentucky as a high school sophomore. She also had offers from Nebraska, Ohio State, North Carolina and others.

“My family was really big UK fans so they were pushing me to go to UK. They were like, ‘You won’t get this opportunity to play for the school you love and cheer for again.’ My friends supported me, too, and said they would cheer for me when we played UofL,” Tharp said.

Kentucky did play Louisville last week and swept the Cardinals. It was UK’s sixth straight win over Louisville and certainly made Tharp happy. She grew up with UK posters in her house and says she had a “ton of UK clothes” for as along she can remember.

“We went to UK football games, UK basketball games. My whole family loved UK,” Tharp said.

She had her favorite UK volleyball players, but also was a “huge” fan of basketball players Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker.

“I loved them both. That has not changed,” she said.

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