Megan Brzozowski (‘19) is not only an exceptional volleyball player, but she is a genuinely compassionate and determined person. When Megan and I sat down in the Gilmour Academy Ice Arena during free block last week, she immediately projected utmost confidence. Her sophisticated level of comfort and gleaming smile truly represent her character.
Megan began playing volleyball when she was four years old. Her mom coached the volleyball team that her older sister, Nicole (‘14), played on for St. Pascals in the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). Megan participated in drills at their practices and the girls treated her as a member of their team.
I gather that the Brzozowskis have a very special family relationship based on the respectable level of pride and appreciation that Megan exemplified when describing them. She said that her sisters, Nicole, Laura (‘15), and Julia (‘17) inspired her to join volleyball. The sport has played an extensive role in their lives, being that all four sisters played volleyball. Megan grew up supporting her sisters at their tournaments, and she aspired to follow in their footsteps.
Megan is not only a skilled volleyball player, but she is a remarkable student as well. Her academic achievements are a result of consistent hard work, which inevitably comes with a great deal of stress. She said, “Volleyball has given me an escape from distractions such as school, friendships, and other areas of my life. I keep playing for myself because I am truly passionate about the sport, but I also play for my parents because I know they love supporting me and seeing how the games unfold.”
Megan’s love for family continued to show as she described her experience playing for the Gilmour Academy volleyball (GAVB) team. She watched her sisters play for five years prior to her entrance into high school, and she played an additional four years on the court as an outstanding starter of the team. She said, “For the past nine years, this team has been my family. When I was younger, all I ever dreamed about was playing for GAVB. I overheard my sisters talking about traditions and pre-game rituals, and I couldn’t wait to share these memories with them.”
I could tell that being a senior caption for GAVB holds a special place in Megan’s heart because of the admirable amount of pride she exhibited when I introduced this topic. This year presented a completely new atmosphere for her because her teammates looked to her for leadership and guidance as a senior. She knew that this new sense of responsibility would be empowering, yet stressful. However, she used it as a time to reflect on her past as an underclassman and tried her best to help her teammates evolve as players and young women.
Out of her four years playing for GAVB, Megan noted that her most memorable experience was winning the State Championship game her freshman year with her sister, Julia. She said that “being able to share this experience with [her] sister was incredible.” Her family realized that Gilmour has been to the state tournament seven times in the past nine years, and there was always at least one Brzozowski on the team. The team’s success means a lot to the community and especially to her family given their consistent dedication to the team.
Final point in the GAVB 2015 State Championship game.
One of Megan’s most recent achievements is being named Division II District Most Valuable Player. This means that out of a total of 76 teams (each averaging 15 girls per team), the majority of the coaches in her district voted in her favor.
The next part of the interview had a different aura. When I asked Megan about her future at Fordham University in New York City, her eyes lit up, she sat up straight in her chair, and her smile instantly grew from ear to ear. She said that “knowing I am going to be able to continue my volleyball career beyond high school is unlike any other feeling.”
At Megan’s final match of her senior season, she stepped off the court and said to herself, “I can’t imagine being done.” Her commitment to Fordham to play Division I volleyball allows her to continue playing the sport she loves. She revealed that she hopes to improve her skills as a player at the collegiate level, but she does not know where her future will take her in regard to volleyball after college.
Megan’s dedication to the sport also shows through her efforts outside of Gilmour. She is constantly training to remain strong and to improve her skills and has competed all over the country from Florida to Kentucky to Pennsylvania in club volleyball. Megan currently plays in tournaments representing the Academy Volleyball Club in the Ohio Valley Region in hopes of qualifying for the Open National Championships in Dallas, Texas in April 2019.
Overall, Megan said, “Being a volleyball player doesn’t simply entail serving, passing, and setting; rather, it’s being a part of a team and learning how to trust others. I got into this sport because of my sisters, and my love for volleyball has evolved as I continue to make it my own.”
After the interview, I concluded two important messages from Megan. The first is that having a strong relationship with your family is a wonderful gift, and you should be thankful for every moment with them. Secondly, whether it is developing your leadership skills or holding by your principles and values even when others disagree, there are always lessons to be learned from life experiences