Notre Dame freshman volleyball setter Sammie Brown

On The Clock With Volleyball's Samantha Brown (both of them)

Dec. 10, 2010

The Notre Dame volleyball team has two Samantha Browns, both freshman, on the roster this year. Sammie Brown (Santa Barbara, Calif.) is a setter and Sam Brown (Albuquerque, N.M.) is a middle blocker.

Sammie Brown, a great all-around player with good blocking abilities, saw action in all 31 matches for the Irish this season, averaging 9.16 assists/set. Her 29 service aces ranked fourth on the team. Prior to this season, she participated in the 2009 World Championships in Blackpool, England, with the USA U21 Youth National Beach Volleyball team.

Sam Brown, an outstanding 6-foot-3 athlete with an amazing vertical jump, saw action in 18 matches during the 2010 season. She came on late in the year to finish with 50 kills and 28 blocks.

The dynamic duo helped the Irish to an 18-13 overall record with a 10-4 mark in BIG EAST Conference play.

Following the season, Sammie and Sam sat down with’s Briana Coyne to talk about themselves, having two Samantha Browns on the team, and their experiences at Notre Dame after their first full season.

What is your full name?

Sammie: My full name is Samantha Marie Brown.

Sam: My full name is Samantha Ann Brown.

What has it been like being on the team with a teammate who has the same name as you?

Sammie: Super fun, except for when I almost couldn’t get on the plane a couple of times because we had the same boarding pass.

Sam: It has been challenging. Sometimes there is only one boarding pass for the plane or one meal for the two of us. I respond to the name “Sammie” also, so I tend to listen to all of her coaching. I would make a great setter with all the knowledge about her position that I have stored in my brain.


Notre Dame freshman middle blocker Sam Brown



What has been the most challenging aspect about adjusting to college?

Sammie: The most challenging aspect has been just trying to balance everything and not stress about the little things.

Sam: The most challenging aspect has been figuring out how to manage my time correctly so I have a good balance between practice and school.

How and why did you start playing volleyball?

Sammie: I started playing volleyball in the fifth grade. I was always around the sport because my older sister played and my mom coached.

Sam: I started playing volleyball as a freshman in high school so I would not have to go to preseason basketball workouts. I was truly horrible when I started out because I had no idea what was going on.

What is your most embarrassing moment on the court?

Sammie: My most embarrassing moment was in a championship match during club volleyball in high school. The other team’s best hitter hit the ball and I was trying to dig when the ball got stuck in between my legs for 10 seconds.

Sam: In high school, I was stretching before the start of a match. I did an awesome high-kick to stretch my hamstring and my foot got caught in the net, propelling me to the ground in a graceful manner.

What is your favorite thing about playing for Notre Dame?

Sammie: I love all of my teammates and it is fun playing for a school with so much school spirit and tradition.

Sam: My favorite thing about playing for Notre Dame is the girls on the team. My teammates are so much fun and make me laugh on a regular basis. There is never a dull moment and they bring so much happiness into my life.

What artist takes up most of your iPod/music player?

Sammie: The artists that take up most of my iPod are Lil Wayne, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson and Taylor Swift.

Sam: Bruce Springsteen takes up most of my iPod due to my little brother’s obsession.

What is your cell phone ring right now?

Sammie: My cell phone ring is “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley.

Sam: My cell phone ring is the theme song to Spongebob Squarepants.

What is your favorite movie quote?

Sammie: My favorite movie quote is “Rule #76: No excuses. Play like a champion!” from Wedding Crashers.

Sam: My favorite movie quote is from Wedding Crashers – “Rule #76: No excuses, play like a champion.”

Other than the Irish, what is your favorite sports team?

Sammie: My favorite team is the Los Angeles Lakers!

Sam: My favorite sports team is the Dallas Cowboys!

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Sammie: Hopefully in 10 years, I will be having fun playing beach volleyball somewhere.

Sam: In 10 years, I would like to be a teacher of a primary grade, either first or second grade. Fun!

What would be your dream job? Why?

Sammie: My dream job would be professional surfing so I could travel to the best beaches all over the world!

Sam: My dream job would be to own a cupcake bakery. I love to bake cupcakes and decorate miniature Barbie cakes. It would be like owning a life-size Easy Bake Oven that I could play with every day.

If you could go any place in the world, where would it be and what would you do there?

Sammie: I would go to Costa Rica if I could go any place in the world. I would surf and swim in a waterfall and go zip-lining through the jungle and whitewater rafting and feed the monkeys.

Sam: If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to Cabo because I have never been out of the country or to somewhere tropical. I would go to the beach all day and eat yummy Mexican food.

What is the best advice you have received? Who was it from?

Sammie: I receive the best advice from my Mom, because everything she says is good advice.

Sam: The best advice I have ever received was from my dad – “Good things happen to good people”.

Who has been your biggest role model and why?

Sammie: My biggest role model is probably my older sister, because she is nice to everybody and is good at balancing everything in life.

Sam: My biggest role models are my parents. My dad is hilarious, loving, charismatic, and hard working. My mom is very caring, funny, honest, and the most beautiful woman I know. They are everything that I strive to be in life.

What is one thing about you that might surprise people?

Sammie: One thing about me that might surprise people is that I love mini horses and killer whales.

Sam: One thing that might surprise people is that I’ve tried everything on the original Taco Bell menu.

If you were not playing volleyball, what sport would you be playing?

Sammie: If I were not playing volleyball, I would be playing ping-pong.

Sam: I would be playing basketball, which is what I grew up playing and what I thought I would be playing in college.

What do you do for fun when you aren’t in class or at practice?

Sammie: What could be more fun than class and practice?

Sam: Class and practice are the definition of fun.

What is your proudest athletic achievement?

Sammie: My proudest athletic achievement is winning the C.I.F. tournament in high school, but the best is yet to come.

Sam: My proudest athletic achievement is having the opportunity to play for Notre Dame. It truly is my greatest achievement to represent an excellent school and all the people here.

What does being part of the Fighting Irish mean to you?

Sammie: Being part of the Fighting Irish means being part of a community and family and getting to represent and play for something bigger than yourself or the team.

Sam: To be a part of the Fighting Irish is like being part of a big family. Everyone is so caring and watches out for their fellow Domers. It means getting involved in the traditions of the school and possessing school spirit.