Volleyball: A Captain, klutz and killer on the court

GW volleyball captain Janine Brown is a self-proclaimed klutz. The senior popped her kneecap for the sixth time while warming up for the team’s match against Fairleigh Dickinson last weekend. Just one wound in a long line of injuries.

“I’m known on the team as being accident prone,” Brown said. “I’ve sprained my ankle, I have a herniated disc in my back.”

Brown skipped the match against the Knights, which the Colonials won 3-1, and the following match against Maryland-Eastern Shore, which GW lost by the same score, due to her knee injury. But she said the injury is not serious and sitting out both games was simply precautionary. She added that she believes she will be ready to play in the GW Invitational this weekend.

Brown’s junior campaign also began with an injury – an ankle sprain – which kept her sidelined for nine of the team’s 26 matches. She still registered 218 kills for the season, good for third among all Colonials.

The Jacksonville, Fla., native’s senior season seems to be headed in a similar direction. Brown had 26 digs during the Colonials’ 3-0 win over Georgetown in the D.C. Challenge in late August and registered 25 spikes in a 3-2 loss to American. Both numbers were personal bests.

But Brown’s responsibilities stretch beyond the court. She said she takes her position as a team leader very seriously and considers the volleyball team her home away from home.

“You really have to look at everything you do day in and day out and make sure (the team) sees you as something they want to become,” Brown said. “I know all the seniors like to look at themselves as role models off the court either in academics or in our social life.”

Brown, who began her season with eight double-doubles, has been the model of athletic prowess that the squad needs to reach the Atlantic 10 championship.

“The main goal is that everyone reaches their full potential because I think our full potential can bring us to the A-10 tournament,” she said.

But Brown is reluctant to express her personal goals, as she said her only desire is to not regret a day on the court in her final year in Foggy Bottom. Unlike many collegiate athletes, the marketing major also said she has plans to continue playing volleyball even after graduation, when she will likely either attend graduate school or work for a marketing firm.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up volleyball because it’s been a part of my life for so long,” Brown said.

The game became a part of her life in grade school when Brown, who also played softball and basketball, was looking for a sport to fill the fall season.

“It was either soccer or volleyball, and I’m horrible at kicking and running,” she joked.

Volleyball quickly became the sport at which she was most skilled, and her six-foot frame probably contributed to her improvement. Brown was recruited by GW and chose to come to Foggy Bottom after a visit during high school.

For Brown, it was love at first sight.

“I’d never heard of GW before they started recruiting me but when I came to visit, I just fell in love with it.”

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.