As an athlete, it’s important to be good at your position. For Jennifer, one position isn’t enough. “I like that I am the utility player, I always have been. I’ve always been able to play multiple positions.” Jennifer Broze comes all the way from Rockwall, Texas to help the Saint Mary’s women’s club volleyball team in anyway she can. While she consistently plays four different positions, she is a constant source of support and motivation for the Gaels. “I like to be the positive one on the court. No matter how good your skills are, if you don’t have a good attitude, then that can bring the entire team down. So I like being the positive one.”
Jennifer, a freshman at Saint Mary’s, can be counted on to play the positions of libero, right side or opposite hitter, right or left back, and setter. While it’s great to be the one that every one can count on, there are times when Jennifer would like to focus on one thing at a time. “In practice I don’t get as much repetitions as other players do. My coach has me playing many positions, so I don’t get the time that other people do to work on one position at a time.” However, Broze adds that the satisfaction of being the one they count on outweigh the frustrations. “I have to work on every position, which can be difficult at times but it’s nice to be that person they can put in wherever, and it won’t be a disaster.”
Jennifer has been playing volleyball since the fourth grade, and played competitively in club volleyball from sixth grade through her high school career. Although she is confident in her ability now, she used to only play outside hitter, or left back.
When teammates are joking around at practice, Jennifer is more concerned with getting better at what she does. She desires to be pushed and to push herself in order to be better. “It’s hard to be focused as a team, if you’re not focused individually,” Jennifer says about being responsible for her own progress. “I literally tell my self, ‘serve to me, serve to me.’ Cause if you want the ball, then you’re more prepared than if you’re just waiting for the ball to come to you.” This assertive, proactive mentality continues on through her life outside of volleyball. Jennifer was the director and head coach of a summer camp dedicated to volleyball in her hometown, and is a personal trainer for SMC Rec Sports.
While volleyball is a passion for Jennifer, she has goals and aspirations outside of the court. “My first priority is academics and in high school it was volleyball. I am really interested in kinesiology and being a personal trainer. I know I don’t want to play professionally, so I want to make academics my main priority.” The drive and craving for competition is the reason she continues to play club volleyball. “I like the competition, but school is most important.”
Jennifer’s secret to staying on top of everything? “I always eat breakfast. If I don’t have breakfast, it’s not good.”
- Sarah Diaz '13