Brittany McLean has ascended to great heights in volleyball
by Bill Kauffman
Special to Sun Thisweek
Dakota County Tribune
Rosemount High School graduate Brittany McLean, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, is one of 35 players who are part of the U.S. Collegiate National Team-Minneapolis program that is competing June 25 to July 4 in the 38th Annual USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
While McLean will get a chance to shine within the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline as a second tryout for the U.S. Women’s National Team this week, she will get to serve as role models for the younger generation competing in the ages 11-17 GJNC tournament.
McLean said she loves the chance to give back to the younger athletes.
“It is always pretty fun,” McLean said of watching the Collegiate National Team program when she was playing at the Junior National Championships as a youth. “I was in that spot in my 14s (and-under) season. We just got to make sure that we are good role models for everyone. It is a cool feeling for sure. I sure hope that these girls one day are in the spot that we are in now.”
McLean, who played at the USAV Girls’ Junior National Championships every year since she was 14 with Burnsville-based Northern Lights Volleyball Club, remembers fondly back to her junior days. She played in the GJNC in 2014 when it was last held in the Minneapolis Convention Center.
“It was so fun,” McLean said. “Having the home court advantage definitely was better than traveling. We got to sleep in our own beds, which is really nice. We got third that year, so all that helped out with our performance.”
McLean, who saw spot duty for the Minnesota Gophers last season with a team laden with senior starters, impressed the U.S. Women’s National Team staff at the March open tryouts where all players for the Collegiate National Team were selected. She said her freshman season at Minnesota was unreal with the talent on the squad.
“It was absolutely amazing,” McLean said. “Making it to the NCAA final four and having that senior leadership, it was really great to be in that environment with those fans and the coaching staff.”
McLean will get a chance to shine for the Gophers this fall, but first was the Collegiate National Team matches June 27-30.
Her USA White team drew the off-day on Tuesday to start the three-team round-robin, as she had her first match on Wednesday at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
She is excited to wear the red, white and blue with her Minnesota family and friends having the chance to watch her.
“I have quite a few wanting to come watch me, especially my Minnesota teammates and friends,” she said. “They are all asking when I am playing. I am definitely excited to see everyone on Wednesday.”
The CNT-Minneapolis squad trained at the University of Minnesota from June 22-26 prior to the competition matches at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
McLean graduated from Rosemount High School in 2016 and helped the Irish to a 24-6 overall record during senior year.
She was Rosemount record holder in career kills (1,535) and aces (132).
McLean was a three time first-team all-metro, two-time all-state, three time all-conference selection.
She was the 2015 Ms. Baden recipient, given to the top senior volleyball player in the state by the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association in addition to a number of other awards at the state and national level.
McLean is the daughter to Ryan and Colleen McLean.
The GJNC tournament has 1,264 teams competing with an estimated 13,000 players, along with 3,000 coaches, referees and support staff taking part. It is estimated that 30,000 family and friends are expected to watch the event on site with several other thousand viewers on the event live stream.
GJNC will crown 26 champions in seven age groups from 11-17.