Michelle Briggs ’13 is a fourth-year volleyball and basketball player from Salinas, CA and leads the volleyball Pioneers in blocks this season with 0.91 a set.
When did you start playing volleyball?
I started playing volleyball my freshman year of high school, actually—that was the first time I’d ever played. I didn’t even know the rules or anything. I was on JV my freshman year and learned all the rules and really liked it.
Did someone pick you out in the hallway and get you to join?
Yeah, I was kind of… not recruited, but sort of asked to play by the volleyball coach and the water polo coach. I hadn’t played either before. They were both in the fall and they were both trying to convince me to play because I’m tall, so then I chose volleyball and they were pretty excited about it, because I’m tall.
Where are you from originally?
Do you have a favorite moment from your Grinnell volleyball experience this year?
My favorite moment was getting to go to California. That whole trip was so awesome, especially going to Santa Monica pier; that was such a fun day with the team. I thought that was a really cool opportunity.
The dreaded question… do you have plans for what you’re doing next year?
My ultimate plans are to go into physical therapy, so I’m going to take a year off and get a job in something to do with health services to help my application for grad school. But I’m taking the GRE this year and everything, so I’m going to be prepared to go. Also I need to take Anatomy and Physiology, and they don’t offer that here so I need to take that this summer or this coming year so I can apply for next year.
Do you have a favorite class you’ve taken while at Grinnell?
I’m in a pretty fun class right now called Movement for the Performer, so I’d say that one.
Have you done anything interesting in the summers? Have you ever stayed in Grinnell?
I stayed here for the last two summers and I did a MAP this past summer with Professor Gibson, a Psychology MAP obviously, and it had to do with time management and memory and that was a really, really cool experience. I was really happy to do that.
What’s your favorite Harris?
My favorite Harris is probably… there’s like three that I’m debating between. Probably Disco—Disco’s a classic.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Grinnell?
I like the Peppertree a lot, I don’t get to go there that much but when I do, it’s really good. In terms of the amount of times I go there, I’d say Cabaña. Cabaña’s always a fun time, Peppertree’s good to go on occasion.
Where do you live?
I live in a five-person apartment in Cowles with Erica Tharp [’13], Laurie Polisky [’15], Marques Valdez [’13] and Nathalie Ford [’15] and that’s really fun, it’s a really good time.
Do you guys have any fun traditions?
There’s actually a really funny story. When we first moved in, the whole apartment [was] perfectly clean, and there’s this little nook … so I went back there to see if anything was back there, and there was one thing sitting in the corner … so I picked it up and it was a ceramic pitcher in the shape of a boob—a giant boob. So, we have this giant ceramic pitcher of a boob and we call it the birthday boob—whoever’s birthday it is [has] to drink out of it for the night.
How did you hear about Grinnell?
My assistant basketball coach and advisor in high school, and my best friend’s dad, his eldest daughter went here … and he loves it here. He talks about it all the time and will talk to anyone who will listen about it, so he finally got me to come out here and visit and I really liked it when I visited.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
I’m looking forward to just enjoying the rest of my time as a college athlete. Just by having those fun times with your teammates, both in volleyball and basketball, because it’s going to be the last two seasons that I get to do that—just having fun and having no regrets.
After you graduate, are you hoping to keep playing for fun?
Yeah, I want to join a beach volleyball team and do beach volleyball competitively. I think that would be really fun. But that again depends on where I’m going to be. It would probably be easier on one of the coasts to do that, on a beach. But I definitely plan on keeping that up and basketball, of course. If I get the opportunity, definitely competitively, but that might not happen so just for fun.
Do you want to go back to California, or are you just looking everywhere?
I’m kind of looking everywhere. I want to do something different than Iowa, actually the Midwest, so I’m looking to go South, West, or East. I’m not sure yet… wherever I get a job at this point.
-compiled by Alyce Eaton