Overcoming early challenges helps senior volleyball player develop strength, form close bonds

Brooklyn Holthaus made a name for herself in the volleyball community back in Granville, Ohio, where she was always assisting her teammates.

She holds assists records for career, match and season totals during her high school career, a large part in what helped her be named player of the year and to the All-State second team in 2016 and 2017.

Holthaus, 22, is now a senior at Augusta University, where she is a dual major in cybersecurity at the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences and public relations at Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. She joined the Jaguars program after high school and described her experiences as a positive challenge. That challenge has allowed her to make connections with long-lasting friends.

“It’s been challenging because I’ve been put into situations where I had to really develop strength to overcome them,” she said. “It’s also been positive because it taught me so much about myself and about other individuals that I am playing with every day – it has allowed me to form connections with girls that have now become my lifelong friends. So, my experience has been a great one.”

Holthaus has amassed more than 100 assists this season, including reaching 20 in three matches (20 vs. North Greenville University and Francis Marion and 22 vs. Converse).

She said the transition from Ohio to Augusta was relatively smooth. The AU community did a lot to help and she was impressed with how close-knit it is.

“Augusta University and the community that they have created here are very positive,” she said. “They are very supportive to their students and to their athletes and they want their members to be successful. I think that’s great that they really encourage their students to not only strive for their best but strive for even better than that. It really shows in the way that they help to motivate us and encourage us, that goes anywhere from professors, faculty and staff and coaches. I think it’s all a very close-knit campus that does a great job encouraging students so that they can be the best versions of themselves.”

When she was a freshman, she got homesick for about a week or two until she got settled into her new environment. Over time she adjusted to her living quarters and was able to get comfortable.

“Now the only struggle I have from being away … is being away from family and missing some opportunities that they are doing, but I am grateful for FaceTime because I get to see them a lot.”

She had to take a medical redshirt her freshman year, but she is now healthy and ready to help the team however she can. Battling back made her mentally and physically tougher.

“I came into college and AU volleyball with a lot of expectations and no one’s expectation is to ever get hurt or get injured or ever be in a point in their journey where they’re not at their healthiest point,” Holthaus said. “My freshman year I had to take a medical redshirt, but on the other side of that, I was able to make myself stronger and grow. Through that process, I really learned resilience and perseverance … I learned what I needed to do to keep myself healthy so that I can continue playing with my teammates, which is proper eating, exercising and sleep.

“Anything along those lines that could not only just help you to perform better on the court but to also help you to continue to perform better in the classrooms and in your relationships outside of school and athletics.”

Holthaus’ personal goal for the season is to continue fostering the lasting bonds with her teammates while taking the rest of her journey step by step until she graduates.

“I want to form the best connections that I can with my teammates so that after this I am still in contact with them and visiting them because those girls mean a lot to me,” she said. “They are not only teammates at this point: they are friends, sisters and family. I want to do what I can this season to not only have a good winning and successful volleyball season, but to also just continue growing and building those relationships so that they are long-lasting.”

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Written by
Brian Mitchell

Brian Mitchell is an athletic relations intern for Communications and Marketing. He is currently a senior majoring in communications at Augusta University.

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Written by Brian Mitchell

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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