The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach Volleyball in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Misty May-Treanor and the Dream in Gold Foundation.
Volleyball practices are usually loud with the sound of squeaking shoes, bouncing balls and encouraging advice flying around. At Lakewood girls’ volleyball practice the most consistent noise is the comedic styling of sophomore Lala Hall.
It’s not like Hall is a joke teller who’s working on her tight five minutes for a comedy club open mic night, it’s just that Hall always has something randomly funny to say or consider.
“A couple practices ago we were talking about how people know when dogs are blind,” Hall said. “It was crazy. And then we were talking about the textures of fruits. And like, ‘If I see red, do you see the same red I’m seeing?’”
“Lala is our comedic relief,” Lakewood coach Mike Wadley said. “She even does an impersonation of me that’s pretty good. She got down on a knee like I do and even had the phrases… At least it shows she’s paying attention.”
Hall is following in her sister’s footsteps by playing Lakewood volleyball, so she’s been in and around the Lancers gym since she was a middle schooler. That time around the sport and coach Wadley has made her one of the most valuable members of his program.
CLICK HERE to read more about the Hall sisters.
“She’s the only athlete on the team who can play every position on the court,” Wadley said of Hall. “She’ll be the leader of our program sooner or later.”
There is no doubt in Hall’s mind that she loves volleyball, but she also likes to travel, so that ended up being a perfect fit while playing club volleyball.
“If I wasn’t doing (volleyball) I feel like life would be really boring,” Hall said. “During COVID it was really bad. I was like volleyball deprived. Once we got back into it, it’s just so good… Volleyball is the best thing ever.”
Hall also makes sure she brings her own personality to the court no matter what.
“While playing I always find a way to laugh because that’s how I cope with everything,” she said. “I try to laugh it out. Not everything has to be serious… I know how to balance it out."
“Her sisters were established when she got here and now she’s found her own identity,” Wadley added. “A lot of it was confidence and knowing she deserves to be on the court.”
The strong relationship between Hall and Wadley goes beyond the court.
“She’s literally grown up in our gym,” Wadley said. “It’s been her home and I like the fact she’s comfortable coming in and asking for things. She’s always in my class regardless of the class period. I love her like the daughter I never wanted, and I don’t know how else to say that. She’s a great kid.”
Hall’s comfortable approach to interactions with coaches and adults is a byproduct of growing up as the baby in a big family.
“I’ve always had to be (a good communicator with older people) because I had older sisters and in school I would hang out with them and see older people,” Hall said. “When I’m with people my age I can still be young, but then when I get with older people it’s also normal.”
Lakewood hosts Millikan this afternoon in an important Moore League match, but the first-place showdown with Wilson on Tuesday could be the game of the season. Hall said she knows that the best is yet to come from her and her team.
“We can definitely push ourselves,” she said. “I feel like we’re good right now but we definitely have way more potential than we know. We just don’t know it yet.”
CLICK HERE to listen to a podcast with Hall as she talks about aliens, favorite foods, reincarnation and much more.