Aug 16, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Community.
These four words put together aren't just a great use of alliteration, but are the four defining characteristics of winners of the Senior CLASS Award that is handed out in 10 collegiate sports every season.
University of Notre Dame volleyball student-athletes Maggie Brindock and Andrea McHugh will have a chance at earning this elite honor as they both have been nominated based on their record of success on the court, in the classroom, in the community and with their teammates in three years with the Irish.
Their resumes are strong--both sport over a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average, and both have long lists of community service individually and with their teammates. Both have earned conference awards for on-the-court excellence, and both are two-time team captains.
However, the two will face some stiff challengers for the award. Sports information directors from around the country will submit dozens of nominations until midnight Monday. At that point the award committee will narrow the field down to 30 candidates in late September, with 10 finalists announced in October. The winner of the 2013 Senior CLASS award will be finalized in late December.
Brindock and McHugh are confident they are great candidates for the award. Let's rephrase that. They are confident the other is a great candidate for the award.
"Andrea just has good values," said Brindock. "She is really close to her family, she's strong-willed and has her priorities straight. She's kind to everyone and is always helpful and encouraging. I feel like she has taken every experience here at Notre Dame and used it to make herself a better person. She's just very positive with every new thing that comes her way. That list of characteristics used to describe the award also describes her very well."
"Maggie is a very hard worker in the classroom and really takes her studies seriously, striving to be the best she can be," said McHugh. "Character-wise Maggie is a great leader for our team. She is always talking and helping others out and is always there for the other girls on the team. I think Maggie is a great nominee for this award because she is someone that embodies what it means to be a Notre Dame student-athlete."
Head coach Debbie Brown has noticed the duo's leadership skills as well.
"I don't know if I have ever had two juniors as captains before until Maggie and Andrea last year," said Brown. "I think their leadership continues to evolve and get better and better. They have taken advantage of several leadership programs Notre Dame offers that have been a very positive experience and have helped them grow as leaders."
On the court the pair are training hard with their teammates to prepare for the 2013 season and Notre Dame's debut in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
After a day off Saturday, the Irish continue their preseason work Sunday with two practices. The first will be from 12:30-2:30 p.m., and the second from 5-7:30 p.m.
The Irish kick off the 2013 campaign Aug. 31 when they meet ACC foe North Carolina in a non-conference match at the Blue Raider Bash in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
-- Russell Dorn