JMU volleyball’s senior class has had a large impact on its program throughout the last four years, going 81-31. In particular, senior outside hitter Briley Brind’Amour has been a great asset to the team ever since her recruitment.
Brind’Amour grew up in a sports family; her dad is the current head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes NHL team, and her brothers are athletes as well. Her bond with her dad has been one of her bigger motivations while playing volleyball, both throughout grade school and into college.
“He didn’t really know much about volleyball when I started, and he knows a lot more now,” Brind’Amour said. “But, it was always from the athlete side, working hard. Nothing is going to beat hard work, and you gotta give it 100%. Staying strong mentally is also really important, so he really helped me in that aspect throughout my time playing.”
When she first started volleyball in fifth grade, Brind’Amour found her love for the sport through her close friends. She quickly became dedicated and joined the Triangle Volleyball Club in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
“She has such an incredible work ethic,” head coach Lauren Steinbrecher said. “With that, she’s consistent. She set the standard for the team over the last several years as a leader for what is expected at practice and on the court.”
During Brind’Amour’s high school years, she received high honors, including being named the MVP of the 2014 State Championship, being named to the All-American Volleyball team from 2012-2014, receiving a 2015 Under Armour Honorable Mention and being a four-time state champion with her high school varsity team.
Brind’Amour’s work ethic has been widely recognized since her arrival to JMU in 2016. Steinbrecher has coached Brind’Amour all four years and was the one who recruited Briley during her high school years. Her attitude in practices and matches has made her a great role model for the younger members of the team, including freshman outside hitter Danielle Nathan, who’s been playing in the same position as Brind’Amour throughout this season.
“I have really learned a lot from Briley,” Nathan said. “Her experience and the ups and downs she’s been through that have made her stronger — I have really been able to grow and learn from that.”
Playing alongside Brind’Amour since freshman year, senior middle hitter M’Kaela White has been a great friend both on the court and off. The two have held similar career stats, with both girls currently having over 300 kills each over all four years on the team together.
“We just kinda gravitated toward each other freshman year,” White said. “We’ve been almost inseparable, we have a lot of commonalities and we really enjoy the small things we share with each other. It’s what makes our relationship sostrong. She’s always been my go-to girl.”
Steinbrecher has been able to watch Brind’Amour for many years, and she said connection between the coach and the player is a joyous one.
“She’s just a great person,” Steinbrecher said. “Everything her coaches had said about her was super positive, and she won four state championships and was a winner. And I think that’s what attracted us to her, and she’s been everything we expected and more.”
JMU volleyball will have its senior night on Sunday against William & Mary at 1 p.m., in which it will honor Brind’Amour, White and senior setter Sarah Martin. The Dukes are currently 15-7 with a 9-3 CAA record heading into their last four games of the regular season.
Contact Madison Hricik at email@example.com. For more volleyball coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.