Growing up with six older siblings who all played volleyball, freshman Kyleigh Brown has been growing a passion for the sport since a young age.
The Bethlehem native grew up practicing with her siblings in their backyard and attending all of their matches before eventually joining a club team at 12 years old.
“Volleyball has always been something that I do with my family,” Brown said. “It is the way that we bond.”
In high school, Brown lived up to her family’s legacy.
Brown led Bethlehem Catholic to a PIAA Class 3A Championship, a District XI Championship and an East Penn Conference title.
In her senior season, Brown took home Lehigh Valley Live’s Volleyball Player of the Year, Bethlehem Catholic’s Athlete of the Year and she earned PIAA All-State honors.
Head coach Alexa Keckler said Brown has an infectious winning attitude.
“Kyleigh [Brown] doesn’t know how to lose,” Keckler said. “That is one of the things that I love about watching her play. She consistently positions her team to win.”
As a libero, Brown’s job is to predict where the ball is going and make the first contact when the ball comes over the net.
Senior outside hitter Victoria Jepson said that Brown’s ability to read the ball is unique for a freshman.
“She’s always hustling on the court to pick up balls, and she never lets a ball drop without making an effort to go for it,” Jepson said.
Keckler agreed with Jepson and said that Brown is also powerful on the court because of her mindset.
Keckler said that Brown is always even-keeled and that she has a fighter’s mentality that pushes everyone to compete.
During her first few weeks at Lehigh, Brown helped the freshmen get acquainted with the area and campus.
She said she enjoys being the only recruit from the area and that it’s helped her form bonds with her teammates.
“I think being from Bethlehem has helped me make friends here because I can take the girls in my class back to my house on Sundays to show everyone what Bethlehem is about,” Brown said.
Keckler said it’s great having a local player in the program since they have her family and the community’s support at home matches.
Brown and Lehigh kick off Patriot League play against Colgate on Sept. 17 in Hamilton, New York.