By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – St. Norbert College (SNC) volleyball player Brooke Clement “has made a huge impact for our team since arriving on campus in the fall of 2020.”
Those are the words of SNC Coach B.J. Bryant on his star outside hitter.
“We’ve been fortunate in my nine seasons as head coach to have several elite-level outside hitters come through the program, and Brooke certainly has been one of those special few,” Bryant said. “She brings an intensity, competitiveness and drive to the court that pushes her to be a leader both on the stat sheet and in the locker room.”
Clement, a 2020 Bay Port High School graduate, is winding down her St. Norbert career.
“I do have another year of eligibility, but I’ll be graduating in the spring with an elementary school teaching degree – certified in grades one through eight,” she said. “I like that middle school age. Because I live off-campus in the Howard-Suamico area, I’d like to stay around and see if I can get a job. I’ll student teach in the area next spring.”
Clement said she has mixed emotions about the end of her college career.
“It’s been fun playing at St. Norbert – having my friends and family able to watch me play has been special,” she said. “Eventually, I’ll get my master’s degree, but it makes sense for me to [get a teaching job after graduation].”
Clement has been a two-time all-NACC (Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference) selection, including first-team recognition as a junior.
“College volleyball is very fun,” Clement said. “You have the best players from their respective high school teams all coming together. I love the competitiveness and girls who love the sport. The college game is a lot faster.”
Clement said she loves playing for Bryant.
“It’s very fun,” she said. “He’s competitive and likes to win. Overall, it’s been a great experience.”
Bryant echoed those same thoughts back to Clement.
“I have appreciated and enjoyed watching Brooke develop and mature into a leadership role within our team,” he said. “I believe she will continue to expand these skills as she prepares for graduating in the spring and becoming an elementary school educator.”
Bryant said Clement is “the epitome of what a high-level, NCAA Division III student-athlete can be.”
“Brooke is someone who is dedicated in the classroom, passionate about her sport, committed to helping others and making the absolute most of her collegiate experience,” he said. “I am extremely thankful for having had the chance to be a small part of her time here at St. Norbert.”
Clement is putting together a solid season for the Green Knights.
Through 16 games (as of Sept. 27), St. Norbert is 6-10 overall and 0-2 in the NACC, but Clement leads the team in kills with 196.
She has played in 53 of the possible 55 sets the Green Knights have played, which is tied for second on the team.
“We have a lot of returning players from last season – we only had two seniors who graduated from last year’s team,” Clement said. “We’re developing from last year – the team is scrappy. With it being my senior year, I’m trying to take it all in with the memories. That’s been the team’s motto – make the most of it. We have five seniors on this year’s team, so we’re giving it everything we’ve got.”
St. Norbert has three consecutive upcoming home matches on its schedule – a single match against Concordia University Chicago on Sept. 30 (noon), and a doubleheader versus Marian University (4 p.m.) and Ripon College (8 p.m.) on Tuesday, Oct. 3.