Team player

For The Tribune

Abby Brown’s favorite facet of volleyball at Brownstown Central is the teamwork it takes to succeed.

“I feel like we work well as a team together, and it’s just fun to be around the atmosphere, and around that excitement all the time,” Brown said.

Brown began her volleyball career in the fifth grade.

“I’m a defensive specialist,” Brown said. “To get a dig you want to make sure you get to your platform and get the pass to your setter.”

She said when you’re in the back row you want to make sure you’re defending a passing lane so if the hitter on the other side hits around the block, you can receive the ball.

“You want to get to your defensive spot because that’s a key with the blockers,” Brown said. “I usually play right side or middle. Making a good pass is pretty important because it starts off your play, and if you don’t get a good pass to the setter then it’s harder for the setter to get a good set for the hitters.”

Brown said you always have to be ready to make a play, especially against the stronger opponents on the schedule.

“Usually, bigger schools, and better teams have quicker offenses than some of the other teams,” Brown said. “You kind of expect that from them so you can kind of read that.”

On the court, the Braves are always vocal with one another.

“Communication is a key part of volleyball,” Brown said. “If you don’t have communication, you’re just going to fall apart. You don’t want to run into each other constantly, and it helps let the setter know and stuff like that.”

Weekday matches are normally three-out-of-five, while in Saturday tournaments you have to win two-out-of-three to advance.

Brown said she doesn’t think you have to change your strategy and that you always want to win the first set.

“You want to start out strong,” she said. “You don’t want to dig yourself a hole and have to come back. That’s probably the hardest thing to do. It’s just harder to win three-out-of-five because of longer games.”

Covering the entirety of the court, Brown said it is also important to be in tip-top shape to be able to get to balls and not let them hit the floor for a point for the other team.

“Conditioning is important because you’re constantly moving on the court, and if you’re not in shape you’re just going to be bad by the end,” she said.

The Braves have been ranked throughout the season, and Brown said she thinks opponents play their best against her team.

“I think with any ranked team, or any team with a good record, everybody is out to get them,” Brown said. “Everybody wants to beat them, everybody wants to get on top. They want to beat those harder teams because it gives them a good feeling if they beat bigger teams.

“We just have to keep working hard in practice, and we need to keep our endurance going during long matches that can go five games.”

Keeping a strong mental game is important to Brown.

“If you don’t have the confidence or the right mentality you’re going to be down on yourself the whole time,” Brown said. “That’s not going to help you, because when you’re back there passing on serve receive you have to have the confidence knowing that you’re going to pass it, because if you don’t then you’re either not going to get there all the way or you’re going to shank it.

“You don’t want to get down on yourself. It works for you and the team.”


Q: Do you enjoy the long volleyball schedule?

A: “During the faster-paced games I feel like I work better, and the team works better because it challenges you more, and it makes you want to play better, as opposed to when you play less advanced teams you almost want to play down a level kind of thing.

“I think the tournaments are a great experience for us to get some of the teams we don’t have on our schedule and get to play them. It’s more games for us to put on our schedule.”

Q: What’s it like playing in Brownstown Central’s gym?

A: “I like home matches a lot because we get a lot of fans and support, and it helps make the games easier, and kind of keeps you pumped up more. “

Q: Have you enjoyed your time as a student at BCHS?

A: “I like the size of it. I like that it’s not too big. You know most of the people you’re walking around the halls with, and I like the athletics. I’ve made some really great friends through volleyball. The bus trips are pretty fun.”

At a glance

Parents: Tom and Becky Brown

Siblings: Jake

Sports: Volleyball, four years; basketball, two years; baseball manager, three years

Athletic awards: Mid-Southern Conference champs 2014, mental attitude award 2014

Organizations: National Honor Society, Booster Club, Lettermen’s Club

Plans after high school: Attend college to study physical therapy

Favorite food: Chicken fettuccine Alfredo

Favorite TV show: “Criminal Minds”

Favorite musician: Luke Bryan

Favorite movie: “She’s The Man”

Favorite team: Indiana Hoosiers

Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.