Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Brey acts as example to volleyball team, leads with compassion

Even though junior middle blocker Rosa Brey is captain of the women’s volleyball team, she’ll admit she is not the most vocal leader.
Luckily, she doesn’t need to be.

Brey leads the team in other ways, starting with statistics. She is among the top 10 individuals in the conference in kills, blocks and hitting percentage, as well as leading the team in each of those statistical categories. Last season, she was named second-team all-conference, was named to the Las Vegas Blast all-tournament team this year and was NWC player of the week Sept. 4.

Even aside from the numbers and honors, Brey has a number of intangible qualities that make her a great leader for the team, according to first-year head coach Carolyn Papineau.

“She’s an example; a good listener, compassionate, inspiring and also has the skills on the court to lead her teammates,” Papineau said. “Being vocal is another piece, and I know she wants to get better at that.”

First-year teammate Katie Richards says that she appreciates Brey’s lead-by-example style.

“She is always a great source of motivation and helps to pump up the energy even when things are down,” Richards said.

Elected captain by her teammates last season as well, Brey says that her high self-expectations have led her to self-criticism on the court. For the good of the team, she has attempted to cut down on the negativity: but she’s never curbed her competitiveness.

“I’ve always been that annoying player on the floor who is really hard on themselves and gets down really easily. I always want to be a little better than the other team. That’s what yields wins,” Brey said.

Brey has also used athletics as a jumping-off point for community involvement, citing her participation in Whitman’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee as a thoroughly rewarding part of her Whitman experience.

“I just kind of helped organize a reading program this year where we just go to Sharpstein Elementary and read to the kids over there one day a week. We just had our first reading day, and the kids over there are so cute,” she said.

Brey is one of only two juniors returning to the team this year, along with starting setter Kristan “Stan” Brown. Being the only volleyball players in their class, they share a special connection on and off the court.

“We were the only two to come in for our class, so we got to go through all the freshman insecurities together,” Brey said. ” There’s always been some magic between us.”

Some of Brey’s best performances last year came with Brown playing at setter for the Missionaries, despite Brown being the second-string setter behind all-conference player Kate Borsato.

“[Brown] set a couple games last year, and we would always get excited about it. In one of those games I think I had like 18 kills or something crazy like that. Something just works with us,” Brey said.

Brey’s leadership carries over into the academic world as well. She is currently in the process of proposing an academic plan of her own creation: an environmental studies and anthropology combined major.

She plans to complement that major by studying abroad in Kenya this spring,

“To go and live in a wildlife refuge, essentially, for a semester, will be great. Opportunities like that are so, so, important. We need something to open our eyes,” she said.

Living in the Kenyan wildlife refuge and working with indigenous tribes there will also couple with Brey’s love of the outdoors: an affection cultivated while growing up in Bozeman, Mont.

“It’s hard to grow up in a place like that and not be in love with the outdoors. I just love being outside in open spaces,” Brey said.

And with her athleticism, Coach Papineau hopes that Brey finds even more open spaces: namely when hitting between opposing blockers.

“Rosa has the capability to be one of the top, if not the top middle blocker in this conference. And I don’t think she has even realized the top end of her potential athletically,” Papineau said.

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