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Senior captain Carly Brown recently completed a stellar year with the North Haven volleyball squad. Carly transitioned to the libero position and led the Indians in both digs and serve receives, while helping them post 16 wins and get back to the postseason. (Photo courtesy of Carly Brown )
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After playing on the back line for the North Haven volleyball team last year, Carly Brown moved to the libero position and became the Indians’ leader on defense in her senior season. Carly had wanted to play libero since she joined the program as a freshman. She realized her goal this year and helped North Haven turn in one of its best campaigns in recent memory.
“Being the libero definitely pushed me outside my comfort zone, because I needed to be a more prominent presence on the court through communication. It was my job to make sure my teammates were prepared for anything the other side would throw at us,” Carly says. “Since my freshman year, it was my goal to become the libero. It was definitely challenging, but it was an easy transition.”
Carly brought an aggressive mentality to the libero position, because she knew it was her responsibility to prevent the opposition’s hits from finding the floor. Carly led the Indians by recording 170 digs and 328 serve receives on the year. She also helped North Haven finish with a record of 16-6 that included one win in the SCC Tournament, as well as a victory in the first round of the Class L State Tournament.
“I always have to have the mindset that I can get any ball. I just had to stay confident and know I can get to any ball. That’s why I’m wearing the different color jersey,” says Carly. “Being the libero forced me to be more aggressive and, as a result, I got a lot better. I saw a lot of improvement this year, because I got more comfortable in practices and games.”
Aside from being the libero, Carly was one of the Indians’ senior captains this season. Carly felt honored to led her team while playing a sport she loves. While she’s always prided herself on leading with her actions, Carly also grew into a vocal leader for North Haven as a senior.
“I’m more of a leader by example, and I think I wanted to inspire my teammates through the type of player that I am and the type of work ethic I have,” Carly says. “Being the libero pushed me out of my comfort zone by forcing me to be more vocally dominant on the court.”
Head Coach Brianna Kleckner emphasized the importance of the Indians always giving 100 percent on the floor, while doing so with a positive attitude and a team-first mindset. Kleckner says that Carly did an excellent job of conveying this message to the other athletes on the squad.
“It always helps when your captain believes in the coach’s philosophy and foundation,” says Kleckner. “It was easy for all three of our captains to buy in. They set the tone right from the beginning, which was awesome for our team.”
Carly also plays right field for the North Haven softball team. This spring, she helped the Indians win the SCC Tournament for the first time in program history, hitting a double with an RBI and two runs scored in their 12-8 win versus Amity in the championship game. Carly says that she’s looking forward to helping North Haven have another big year on the ballfield next spring.
“I want to carry over the success from volleyball to softball,” Carly says. “Hopefully, we make it all the way, because we’re definitely capable of it this year.”
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