Leadership, enthusiasm, skill and work ethic.
Brown has been a key member of the women’s indoor volleyball team the past few years, earning All-WCC First Team honors twice, according to Pepperdine Athletics. Members of her team said Brown is a leader to new members of the team while also having an unmatched energy level.
“It was obvious from day one that she’s a Wave,” said Scott Wong, Pepperdine Women’s Indoor Volleyball head coach. “From the volleyball side of things, she just was a great volleyball player. She had all the right tools.”
Brown said she instantly fell in love with volleyball after her older brother recommended it to her. Having lit the fire during her sophomore year of high school, Brown also began to realize she had the potential of becoming a DI athlete.
Brown has around 10 cousins who went on to play sports at the Division I level which created an environment that pushed Brown to her best, Brown said.
“It was just fun to have that competitive environment growing up,” Brown said. “Me and my brother and my sister were always super competitive with each other and pushing each other to be better.”
During the recruiting process, Brown said what made Pepperdine stick out was during her first phone call conversation with Wong when he spent more time getting to know Meg as a person than asking about volleyball.
Brown said the other coaches she spoke to only asked her about volleyball, so being asked about her whole life proved for her the people at Pepperdine saw her as more than an athlete.
“So, that was super important for me with choosing a school is that I was going to have a good relationship with those people and know that they were going to invest in me as a person,” Brown said.
From the coach’s point of view, Wong said her volleyball abilities and personality off the court made it clear from the start he wanted Brown to play for Pepperdine.
“The rest of the recruiting wasn’t evaluation,” Wong said. “It was more how do we get her to come to Pepperdine?”
Brown made her collegiate debut in the 2020 season where she was named the WCC Freshman of the Year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 season was pushed back from fall 2020 to spring 2021, according to Pepperdine Athletics.
How the team handled the adversity that came with the pandemic made her realize from the start Pepperdine was where she was meant to be, Brown said.
“A lot of [collegiate] teamss had some tension or like disbanded because of all the trials and tribulations that they were going through,” Brown said. “But our team that year got so close because we were really the only people we could see during COVID.”
“That was such an amazing experience and getting to play against the former National Player of the Year [Yossiana Pressley], who was just an incredible volleyball player,” Brown said. “Then, the following year coming back and beating Baylor in preseason was just a good cherry on top.”
This past summer, Brown played for the U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team, according to Pepperdine Athletics. This experience showed her she had what it took to compete at the high level while also improving her performance and leadership skills, Brown said.
“I definitely was able to get more creative about what my shots look like on a bigger block,” Brown said. “And just the competitiveness that I can bring in my leadership as a senior this year. Trusting that I know what to do and I can help younger girls do the same.”
Wong said one thing people don’t notice from watching her on the court is Brown’s genuine way of loving and connecting with people. Wong has a list of funny moments or stories about Meg he refers to as “Meg Moments.”
“She has that ability with those relationships to be able to get people to do things that are just classic,” Wong said. “There’s not much shame behind her either. She is just who she is.”
Emma Ammerman, Brown’s roommate and senior outside/opposite hitter, said Brown’s high levels of energy helps carry the team.
“Obviously, on the court, she’s a stud,” Ammerman said. “We rely on her to score us a lot of points, but she also carries a big energy load. When she’s up, we’re up.”
Brown said she remains enthusiastic on the court because it helps her put less pressure on herself while also helping the team.
“It helps me be less hard on myself,” Brown said. “I can’t do anything as a middle without a good pass or a good set. So, I’m really reliant on my teammates, and because of that, I just love pouring into them.”
Brown has continued to produce on the court each season as she led the team in points and had the sixth highest single season hitting percentage at .365 in 2022, according to Pepperdine Athletics. With each new year, though, Wong said Brown has transitioned from not only a great athlete but a great leader.
One thing Brown has done differently each year is look for ways to help the team beyond her on the court performance, Brown said.
“Going into your sophomore year is just playing your best for your team,” Brown said. “As you’re transitioning into an upperclassmen, it’s how can I help the girls that are now freshmen and sophomores feel comfortable playing with an older girl who’s been here for four years”
Brown’s leadership has evolved from just setting an example, Wong said.
“It’s pretty cool to see the progression from ‘watch me’ to ‘this is what we have to do,'” Wong said. “A little more direct, more verbal and in doing it in a way that is received, not just a one dimensional thing.”
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Contact Tony Gleason on Twitter (@tony__gleason) or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org