Junior serves in volleyball success

Megan Fahrney, Sports Editor

Students sprung from their seats on the crowded bleachers and erupted into applause. They then hushed to a sudden silence in anticipation of the next serve. The second set of the Glenbrook North girls varsity volleyball team’s match against Glenbrook South was underway. Junior Casey Brown set the ball to her teammate, who spiked it, winning the point. The student section filled the gym with cheers again as the GBN players crowded into a huddle, arms around each other. 

After losing the first set 25-18, the Spartans came back in the second and third sets, winning 33-31 and 25-18 to ultimately claim the match. 

“The second set we started out a little bit behind but then we got energy. 

“[It] ended [33-31], which is way past what it should be because we were supposed to end it at 25, but we just kept going point for point,” Brown said.

Brown is a new student and the starting setter on the volleyball team. She moved to Northbrook from Champaign this past summer. The team has achieved a record of 12-5 as of Sept. 24. Brown has 59 digs and has accounted for 279 out of her team’s 386 assists. 

Junior Brooke Weinberg said she met Brown before school started at a tournament when her club team played Brown’s club team. 

“We startedtalking after [playing each other] because it was a fun match.

“She asked me what school I went to, and I told her I go to GBN. She was like, ‘Really? I might be moving there next year,’ so that started our friendship,” Weinberg said.

Brown said without volleyball, she would have been like a typical new kid that didn’t fit in, but when she came to school she had people she knew in classes.

“I have somewhere to go after school, people to go out to lunch with, people to sit at lunch with. It just made it so much easier,” Brown said. 

Brown said some of the volleyball players had her meet their friends, so she knows more people. 

According to Brown, when she moved, she had to choose to move to either Deerfield or Northbrook. She went to both high school’s summer volleyball camps and preferred GBN’s program. 

Tiffany Kim, girls volleyball head coach, said when she first saw Brown play at camp over the summer, she recognized her clean, consistent ball handling skills. 

“She’s got great hands,” said Kim. “She’s a great setter. She’s got a lot of aggressiveness, a competitive side to her too.” 

Weinberg said Brown makes other players on the team look good by giving them perfect sets. 

“She provides a good setup in order for our offense to put it away,” Weinberg said. 

Kim said at Brown’s former school, Brown worked with a lot of competitive and taller girls, so she needed to adjust to the new girls at GBN, as well as the pace and play calls. 

Brown said in Champaign, she played a 6-2 offense, but the GBN team plays a 5-1 offense. In a 6-2 offense, there are two players who set, whereas in a 5-1 offense, there is one full-time setter. 

“I think a 5-1 allows us to be more aggressive and try different things, but at the same time, that means I don’t get to hit, and hitting is really fun,” said Brown. “So it’s kind of a trade off.”

Team bonding and energy on the court also differ between GBN and Brown’s former school, according to Brown.

“Back at my old school, it was cliquish and it was kind of every man for themself,” Brown said. 

Brown said Kim gave each player a partner and they had to go out on a “date.” Brown was partnered with senior Maggie Myers. 

“We went to Chipotle for our date,” said Brown. “So that was kind of a way to get to know someone that you didn’t know very well.” 

Brown said there is much more of a team element at GBN than at her old school. 

“When we come in, we make sure we wait in the huddle [for everyone] after every point,” said Brown. “We come in every time and we’re like, ‘Hey we got it,’ “You got the next one,’ or ‘Keep it up,’ or something like that. Positive no matter what happens.”