Brittany Dunn continues to rack up wins, league honors for OU



After redshirting her freshman year of college, senior Brittany Dunn has grown into a consistent leader on and off the court for the Oakland University women’s volleyball team, becoming a captain and libero for the Golden Grizzlies.

“Having that redshirted year is such an advantage because all you do is get better,” Dunn said. “I was actually kind of upset when I had to redshirt because I just wanted to get on the court and play, but it’s all worked out for me in the end and that extra year of practice has really helped me progress to where I’m at now.”

That progression is clear to women’s volleyball head coach Rob Beam.

“Aside from the volleyball performances that she’s put in, I think her leadership just stands out so much,” Beam said.

“The maturity that a fifth-year senior has, how she deals with her teammates, and being inclusive with all of them, having a high expectation and helping the young players fit in. It’s all those different aspects of being a great captain and a senior.”

During the 2008 season, just two years after that redshirt year, she took over for former Grizzly teammate Lauren Duquette as libero, the primary defensive specialist on the team who is on court for nearly the entire match.

“The libero gets to be on the floor the whole game, so when you have a player that has maturity, stability, skill consistency and provides the right kind of leadership to the players on the court, it makes a gigantic difference,” Beam said. “I think you see that in her run of three weeks in a row where she was defensive player of the week, which has never been done before in the history of the Summit League. You see the whole package coming together with her.”

Aside from those awards, Dunn has reset some of her own career best totals over the last three seasons as well as being named to the Academic All-Summit League team.

In 25 matches with double-digit dig totals last season, her 470 digs placed her in third place in Oakland’s Division I single season school history.

Twice, she had a career-high 32 against IPFW and Eastern Michigan.

Her previous best in season digs was 234 and match-best was 27, in 2008.

She upped her career-best of five service aces in 2008 last year with six  against UMKC, which was one shy of tying Oakland’s Division I record.

This season, Dunn has won the Summit League Defensive Volleyball Player of the Week four of the last five weeks, bringing her career total to six. In two of those weeks, the team defeated North Dakota State University and IPFW, the No. 1 team in the conference at match time.

“It’s a great honor getting those awards, and I’m happy that I did, but if you look back at those weeks and the teams that we played, those team victories are just more important and it wasn’t just me that helped get those wins,” Dunn said. “Those wins stick out more to me than the awards.”

After starting the year with a 3-6 record, the team has stormed back to a 14-12 record (9-5 Summit League).

With four games to go in the season, the Grizzlies are two and a half games out of first place.

“We got off to a slower start, not exactly the start we wanted, and we’ve been working so hard as a team in practice every day,” the senior said. “Our team has great chemistry and the fact that we beat the first place team (North Dakota State) and then IPFW… It just shows how hard we’re working as a team. It’s really nice to be winning.”