Huskies spikers headed across the nation
EAGLE-VAIL – Battle Mountain volleyball’s Britney Brown and Sofia Lindroth will work together at today’s 4A Region D Tournament in Eagle-Vail. Next year could well be a different story.”We’re going to be playing each other,” Lindroth said with a laugh.Lindroth has a verbal commitment with James Madison University in Virginia, while Brown has the same with Northeastern – where she’ll be a part of a new set of Huskies – in Boston. And that makes to the two – Brown sets to Lindroth and the team’s myriad of hitters – rivals in the Colonial Athletic Association.”(Going) against each other is going to be weird, but it’s definitely going to be fun,” Brown said.Making things a little more interesting is that James Madison headed to Fort Collins this fall to take on Colorado State where Battle Mountain’s Crystin Rodrick plans on playing next year. Now throw in the fact that middle blocker Nicole Penwill is applying to Harvard, and would play for the Crimson if she’s accepted.Northeastern played Harvard last year in volleyball and has a rivalry with Cambridge, so Brown versus Penwill is also a possibility.The bottom line is that we’ve got Huskies here there and everywhere.
Not only have the Huskies been successful on the court to the tune of a 22-1 record entering today’s tournament, but they’ve been equally so in the classroom.”Sports have that great crossover,” Huskies coach Brian Doyon said. “That’s evident in our girls for sure. They take academics and athletics seriously. They manage their time very well. I think they’re going to be great successful young ladies.”With Brown, Lindroth and Rodrick already with verbal commitments to schools and Penwill applying early admission to Harvard, today’s Huskies – not to be confused with Northeastern – could well have four starters on the floor headed to Division I volleyball programs.PrioritiesWhile their athletic exploits are well-known, these young ladies have blazed a trail in the classroom. Penwill would play volleyball at Harvard, but the fact that she’s applying there speaks volumes more about her academic accomplishments.”You just have to be really responsible and disciplined when it comes to knowing your priorities,” she said. “I love volleyball. I’ve always loved soccer and skiing, but academics has always been my priority. You just know that when you have homework to do, you just get on the bus, turn on your book light, and know that’s what you’ve got to do.”Penwill plans on studying medicine, while Rodrick is looking at international business at CSU.”I’ve wanted to go there since sixth grade, so when they made the offer, I liked it,” Rodrick said. “I had different offers, but they weren’t really the schools I liked. As soon as CSU said it, I knew that was where I wanted to go.”Vail, Colorado
Rodrick verbally committed to the Rams last winter, so she’s had the luxury of going through the season without having to deal with college applications. Penwill understandably admits that her life consists of “late nights, not enough sleep and a lot of caffeine.”But this is the balancing act that required of high-level student-athletes.”They’re student-athletes, not athlete-students,” Doyon said. “It’s also part of who they are. It’s just contagious. They like to buckle down and do school work.”Lindroth fell in love with James Madison when she saw the campus.”I’ve seen a lot of college campuses and been on a lot of visits, but James Madison had everything that I would want in a college,” she said. “It had a really good program of academics for athletes, which will help me keep in line with my grades when I’m playing there. They had an awesome program which is really nice. I love the area of Virginia.”For Brown, Northeastern’s business school as well as being in the Boston area did the trick. She’s going to be entering a special five-year academicprogram.Lessons
With travel, games and heavy academic loads, life can be tough for the members of the volleyball team, but these experiences should help the Huskies in the years to come.”It only helps us to prepare for life after high school because a lot of people don’t involve themselves in as much activity in high school,” Lindroth said. “Once you get to college, you’re overwhelmed. Since we’re already going through it right now, it’s going to help us a lot in the future.”And like all athletics, volleyball is providing life lessons for Battle Mountain.”We always say that there’s more learning that happens in losing than in winning,” Doyon said. “They definitely can understand the winning and losing aspect of things, but also the competition and the appreciation of hard work.”Doyon, of course, added one caveat. “I’d rather just win. I think we’re at the point where we can side-step some of the learning process for winning.”In this case, the Huskies can be excused for one day off from the books.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.