Lawrence Hall of Fame athlete
2004 Hortonville graduate recognized
Two-sport star Shannon (Arendt) Laroux, a 2000 Hortonville High School graduate and 2004 Lawrence University graduate, was inducted into the Lawrence University Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in Appleton last month.
Laroux starred on the field and on the court for the Lawrence University Vikings. A standout infielder for the Lawrence softball team, she also was a powerful outside hitter for the volleyball squad.
Joseph Vanden Acker, director of athletic media relations at Lawrence University, called Laroux a “great player and an absolute sweetheart of a person.” He said she was notorious for hitting sacrifice bunts at the expense of her personal stats to bring home her teammates.
“She was a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame,” Vanden Acker said. “Just a great multi-sport athlete.”
Laroux said Vanden Acker called her a couple months before the Oct. 16 ceremony to inform her she was getting inducted into the Class of 2015. From then on she lived in panic knowing she had to give a speech.
“Thanks to Facebook, my friends were made aware of my induction,” Laroux said. “But I’m very introvert[ed] when it comes to things like this. So if it were up to me, no one would have known.”
Knowing her name will live on forever in the Hall of Fame makes the honor “priceless,” Laroux said.
“After I received the call, I recalled the many other athletes I watched as well as inductions I participated in,” Laroux said. “Realizing the athletes I was up against made the honor that much more surreal.”
Laroux’s mother, Jan Arendt, coached her daughter in summer softball growing up. Laroux always shared her mother’s competitive spirit in her, whether competing at the Badger State Games or winning Punt, Pass and Kick competitions, Arendt said.
“I am happy for her, but the pride comes from her work ethic and the effort she put into in achieving her goals, whether they were athletics or academic,” Arendt said.
At Lawrence, Laroux started for four years at second base and received postseason honors in three seasons. The Hortonville native was an All-Midwest Conference selection in 2003 and 2004 and earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Great Lakes Region honors in 2001.
A career .324 hitter, Laroux batted in the No. 2 spot in the lineup and piled up 26 doubles, three triples and one homer while driving in 62 runs and scoring 88 times.
Laroux helped Lawrence to a 71-57-1 record in her four seasons, and the Vikings qualified for the MWC Tournament for three consecutive seasons (2002-04). Lawrence won the 2003 North Division title and hosted the four-team conference tournament.
Laroux was a force as an outside hitter on the volleyball court and earned All-Midwest Conference honors in 2002 and 2003. She also led Lawrence to its best season in school history in 2001 when the Vikings went 19-12 and finished third in the Midwest Conference.
Laroux’s name is all over the Lawrence records, and she ranks second with 1,357 career kills. A career .187 hitter, Laroux had three of the top six season kill totals when she graduated. She posted a career-high 27 kills in a match twice, and her 448 kills in 2003 led the team.
Laroux’s wicked serve accounted for 199 career aces, which is tops in Lawrence history. She also holds the record for aces in a match (12) and season (69). Laroux has three of the top four season totals for aces in Lawrence history.
A fine defensive player as well, Laroux ranked second in school history with 1,604 digs when she graduated. She also piled up 100 career blocks.
At Hortonville High School, Laroux played the position outside hitter in volleyball for three years and started at second base for three years in softball. Arendt said former volleyball coach Carolyn Horneck and former softball coach Paula Jensen were influential women in Laroux’s life.
The highlights of her high school career, Laroux said, were making the Appleton Post-Crescent’s all-area volleyball team twice as well as defeating Dodgeville 8-4 to win the Division 2 WIAA State Softball Championship in 2000.
“There were a lot of great athletes that I played with and against, so having these honors was and always will be memorable,” Laroux said.
Laroux, who received a degree in biology with an interdisciplinary in psychology, received her nursing degree from Rush University. She works as an aesthetic nurse at Fox Valley Plastic Surgery.
Laroux is married to Alex Laroux and continues playing volleyball competitively at Tanner’s Bar and Grill in Kimberly.
Scott Bellile and Joseph Vanden Acker contributed to this article.