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Palm ’19 powers volleyball team to first conference victory

With a career-high 14 kills, junior led Bears to a 3-1 victory over Columbia at home

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Volleyball’s middle blocker Courtney Palm ’19 led the team as it broke its four-game losing streak Saturday. The team will play Harvard on Friday.

Led by middle blocker Courtney Palm ’19, the volleyball team snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over Columbia at home Saturday. After claiming the first set 25-19, the Bears (6-10, 1-4 Ivy) dropped the second to the Lions in a narow 25-22 finish. But Palm recorded nine kills in the last two frames, giving the Bears a huge advantage in an otherwise close game. She led the team in kills and finished the match with a career high of 14 on .417 hitting.

For her career-best performance and contributions to Bruno’s first conference win, Palm has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

Herald: Congratulations on the win over Columbia. How did it feel to get that first Ivy victory of the season?

Palm: It feels really great. It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been waiting on it, and we’re really happy to finally have everything come together and figure out what we need to do to win.

How did you first start playing volleyball?

I started playing volleyball sophomore year in high school. I was really late to the game because I was always playing softball, and I was a competitive skier and ran track. My high school team was really good. They had won state the past five years in a row, so they were trying to recruit me to play because I was tall and athletic. They finally convinced me to play, and then I fell in love with the game.

Why did you choose Brown?

The environment overall is very welcoming. I just love the vibe. The atmosphere is really great. You get to be a part of everything, and there’s no social divide between students and athletes. You can be a member of any group you want to be. You get to customize your own experience.

What’s the best part of being a member of Brown’s volleyball team?

Our team dynamic is probably one of the best in the Ivy League. All the girls are great, and it’s like having a second family. Everyone is really sweet, and we all care about each other. We all play for each other.

What has been your most memorable moment playing for the team?

That game on Saturday. It was one of the best performances in my career. It was so great to have the trust between my teammates to give me the ball, and for us to succeed was really rewarding. It was really exciting to see it all come together. It was one of the top experiences of my volleyball career.

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

Personally, I’m just going to keep trying to push myself in the middle and work on my specific skills. I want to get better on offense and become an offensive threat to other teams. Normally, blocking is my strong suit, so I’m hoping to branch out and be able to build my offensive skills.

What’s the team’s mentality going into the remaining conference matches?

Stay determined. We had the losing streak for a while, and it was really awesome that we were able to stay mentally tough and come back and win on Saturday. We’re just looking to win in the future.

The Bears will look to improve their conference record against Harvard and Dartmouth Friday and Saturday before returning home to host Yale Oct. 20.

— This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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