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Meet Salukis’ powerhouse middle blocker Patience Brown

Middle+blocker+Patience+Brown+eyes+the+ball+during+the+Saluki%27s+winning+game+against+the+Evansville+Purple+Aces+Sept.+29%2C+2017%2C+at+Davies+Gym.
Middle blocker Patience Brown eyes the ball during the Saluki's winning game against the Evansville Purple Aces Sept. 29, 2017, at Davies Gym.

Middle blocker Patience Brown eyes the ball during the Saluki's winning game against the Evansville Purple Aces Sept. 29, 2017, at Davies Gym.

file photo

file photo

Middle blocker Patience Brown eyes the ball during the Saluki's winning game against the Evansville Purple Aces Sept. 29, 2017, at Davies Gym.

By Tamar Mosby, Sports Reporter

Senior middle blocker Patience Brown has proven herself to be a driving force for the Salukis since her arrival in Carbondale last summer.

Brown is originally from Bloomington, Illinois but spent her first two years of college living in Akron, Ohio playing for the University of Akron.

“I’m from Bloomington, Illinois which is about three and a half hours north of here,” Brown said. “This school recruited me in high school, but I wanted to be out of state and go really far.”

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Off of the court, the senior middle describes herself as an introvert.

“When I am not playing volleyball I’m usually sleeping or studying,” Brown said. “I don’t do too much; I’m kind of an introvert.”

Head coach Kari Thompson and sophomore opposite hitter Maggie Nedoma also described the Illinois native as quiet, but fun to be around.

“The other day at practice she just came up and started dancing then walked away,” Nedoma said. “She’s a little quiet so for her to be a little crazy is really fun.”

Despite being described as quiet, Brown has also been described as a leader by her coach.

“She has really taken on a leadership role and all of the players really respect her,” Thompson said. “She gets along with everyone and she’s also really genuine and cares about other people.”

Nedoma also shared how Brown has pushed her to be better during her time at SIU.

“Patience really helps me to stay focused and keep level headed during the games,” Nedoma said. “She’s very explosive so I kind of watch her and try to be like that when I’m playing.”

Besides her team, Brown is very close with her family and credited them for supporting her.

“My family supports me, whether I do good or bad,” Brown said. “They’re always the ones I look to when I’m going through something.”

Both of Brown’s parents were collegiate athletes who played for Illinois State.

Her father was a member of the football team while her mother was a member of the track and field team.

The Illinois native competed in track and field at a younger age, but was later introduced to volleyball in grade seven and has not stopped playing since.

“When it came to junior high and I had to choose a sport, some of my friends at school told me that I should play [volleyball] because I was very tall,” Brown said. “I made the team and I’ve been playing ever since.”

Brown has been a middle blocker for the majority of her career, but has played some rotations as an opposite hitter.

“The toughest part about being a middle blocker is knowing where to block,” Brown said. “The best part is getting the over passes because we get to hit them back down.”

In high school Brown helped her team win back-to-back conference championships and she was unanimously voted an All-CBC selection as a senior.

After her high school career the middle blocker was pursued by school’s such a the University of Miami, the University of Akron, SIU and others.

The senior initially overlooked Southern wanting to attend a school out of state.

She later came back for a visit after playing in Akron for two years and knew she wanted to finish her collegiate career as a Saluki.

In her first season as a Dawg, Brown finished sixth in the MVC for hitting percentage, led the team in blocks per set, came second on the team in kills and was voted onto the All-MVC Second Team.

This year, the senior has her eye on being voted onto the All-MVC First Team and making it to the tournament with her teammates.

“I want to be on the First All-MVC Team this year,” Brown said. “I know that would take us making it to the tournament.”

She identified her team’s defense as the key to achieving these goals.

“I feel that our defense is a lot stronger this year,” Brown said. “That will give us a better chance of making it to the tournament.”

The senior shared that the biggest lesson she has learned in her collegiate career is to be patient when it comes to getting better.

“I would say the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that there’s a process of getting better,” Brown said. “If you’re trying your best, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just keep working hard and it’ll connect.”

After graduating this year, Brown plans on entering into a career in human resources and is looking at interning with her mother this summer in Chicago.

Despite her plans, several family members see her with a career in coaching.

“My family wants me to coach,” Brown said. “But, I feel that I may need a break from volleyball for a while.”

The senior will take the court this Friday in Evansville, Indiana for another conference match-up against the University of Evansville. First serve is set for 7 p.m.

 

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