Despite having a combined 13 years of volleyball experience, Lincoln-Way Central outside hitters Maria Brown and Jacqueline Langer constantly look to improve their skills for high school and beyond. Brown will continue her volleyball career at Eastern Illinois University, while Langer will join the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s roster. Head coach Kathy Sulkowski says that Brown and Langer are “phenomenal players [who] will be amongst the top hitters in the state.”
Names: Maria Brown and Jacqueline Langer
Year in school (incoming): Seniors
Hometown: New Lenox (Brown); Mokena (Langer)
Position: Outside hitter (Brown and Langer)
How long have you played volleyball?
Brown: Seven years.
Langer: I have been playing club volleyball since sixth grade, [and] I started playing school volleyball my freshman year.
What do you love most about volleyball?
Brown: The most rewarding part is those moments with your team on the court going crazy after a good kill or dig.
Langer: I love that it’s a fast-paced game and it’s all about coming together as a team.
What are your goals for the upcoming season? How will you achieve them?
Brown: To really play as a team and make it one step farther than last year and make this program that much better.
Langer: My main goal is to be more of a leader on and off the court. Another goal is to go downstate with my team!
How do you motivate yourself to train during the summer?
Brown: Think about playoffs and what we have to do and work on to get there and succeed.
Langer: I know that if I want to be successful I have to train all year long. There’s still plenty of time for fun!
Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?
Brown: My mother because she worked so hard to help me get to where I am today.
Langer: My parents because they are always there to support me and push me to the next level.
If you didn’t play volleyball, what would you be doing?
Brown: Almost impossible to think of ... most likely working or hanging out with friends.
Langer: I would join cross country because I’m a big fan of long distance running.
What’s the best part about summer in New Lenox?
Brown: Staying super close with your team and not only being close in the gym but hanging outside the court.
Langer: Hanging out with my friends and playing sand volleyball.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Brown: Logan Tom [four-time Olympic volleyball player] because she is so intense and such an amazing player to look up to.
Langer: Andrew Shaw because he plays big, never backs down and always gives 100 percent.
How do you beat the heat during workouts?
Brown: Really talking to each other and pushing your teammates to get through it and it will make us that much better in the long run.
Langer: I stay hydrated and rest if I feel like I’m overheated.
Favorite quote or words to live by:
Brown: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”
Langer: “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back … play for her.” – Mia Hamm
Profile edited by Lauren Comitor. Local coaches who would like to see an athlete featured in TribLocal should email firstname.lastname@example.org.