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I Am A Rebel - Lily Sender

Sept. 15, 2016

By Kianna Vestuto, UNLV Athletic Communications

UNLV women’s soccer athlete Lily Sender is certainly leaving it all on the field as her senior season emerges. Over the span of her first three years, she recorded just one goal and one assist, yet she is opening her senior year as a leading scorer on the team. Tied with teammate Susie Bernal only seven games into the season, Sender has three goals and four assists (10 points) under her belt. Why the sudden change?

“Two things I attribute to my breakthrough to is hard work and self-motivation,” said Sender. “The work I was putting in wasn’t enough, and this breakthrough didn’t just happen overnight for me.”

Reflecting upon previous seasons, she knew something had to change. She took a step back, dug deep within, and made a game plan to change her work ethic, regardless of how challenging it could get. The saying is that hard work pays off and Sender is a living testimony.

The Rebels started off the season with a program-best 4-0 record, but that was snapped with a 2-1 loss to Utah Valley. Sender was the only one to score in the match, but the loss didn’t let her or her teammates down. The team immediately bounced back with a win at Southern Utah and currently has a 5-2 record through the first seven games.

According to Sender, her teammates have been a significant part of her improvement. “Most of my motivation and inspiration comes from my teammates,” she said. “They are always pushing me to get better and work harder, and through my toughest times they were there for me, never letting me give up.”

Certainly having a strong support system goes a long way, especially being so far from home. A Honolulu, Hawaii, native, Sender has established a strong bond with her fellow teammates, who she calls her “second family.” Part of her successful performance on and off the field is owed to what she finds important – relationships and school.



“There may be people who have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for someone to work harder than you.”

This quote, from former professional baseball player Derek Jeter, holds firm in Sender’s heart. Becoming more disciplined, patient, and with a definite change in work ethic, her success this year is showing that her hard work is paying off.

After graduation, Sender plans on going to graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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