Lawton’s Katrina Alaelue – Volleyball Spotlight Presented by Arvest Bank

By Derrick Smith

Parents can play a big role in the life of an athlete. They are their support and encouragement, and sometimes are a coach. For Katrina Alaelua, her mother is the one that talked her into giving volleyball a try. “My beautiful mother is the reason I started playing volleyball,” Alaelua said. “Although I didn’t like volleyball at the time, she convinced me to try something new. She played volleyball during high school and I wanted to give it a shot. Who knew that I’d fall in love with volleyball shortly after.”

Katrina, who is a senior at Lawton High School, is entering her fifth season of volleyball. She has played setter in the past, but currently plays outside hitter.

Winning the Southwestern Oklahoma Volleyball Poll is something that will give Katrina more fire on the court. “Being nominated for this poll was an honor,” she said. “But actually winning means a great amount of joy to me. It gives me a drive to go harder and better on the court.” 

Carla Neinenger, Alaelua’s volleyball coach at Lawton, has been a huge role model for her to look up to. “Without her help, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Katrina said. “Coach Neinenger had a big impact on me because she saw the potential I had and pushed me to be better. She always made sure I improved more everyday, in athletics and academics. Another thing would be the love she has for our volleyball team. She’s not just our coach, she’s like our second mom. She’s the best.”

Katrina looks to Mr. Clyde Page as her favorite teacher because he encouraged her in academics and athletics. “No one has kept me on track with school more than he has. He pushes me to go harder in athletics and academics.”

Success in any sport is not something that is easily achieved. According to Alaelua, it takes a lot of work. “Being successful takes determination, dedication, time, and effort.”

While she is not exactly sure what she is going to do after graduation, Katrina has her options narrowed down. “My plans are to either continue my volleyball career by playing at college level or I am going to join the Navy.”