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From her playing days in high school, to coaching in college, Bri Strong continues winning championships

Published: May. 1, 2022 at 11:00 PM CDT
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MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (KCRG) - While in high school, Bri Strong helped lead the Mount Vernon Mustangs to two state runner-up finishes before winning it all her senior season in 2009.

“Knowing how to win is really important, “said Strong. “What that feels like to be in those championship moments and I got that really young,” she added.

After nearly five years at Cornell College, she now serves as the assistant coach for Colorado Mesa University. The Mavericks recently claimed the program’s first-ever beach volleyball national championship.

“It was crazy. It’s still kind of sinking in. It’s just really cool to see our team work so hard all season and finally reach our goal,” said Strong. “Our program is only in it’s sixth year too.”

The Northern Colorado grad who won three Big Sky Tournament championships and made three NCAA appearances with the Bears, is happy to be back in Colorado. In addition to their program’s first national title, the Mavericks became the first non coastal school to win it all.

“Normally the schools that win are Florida, California where they can train all year long, but since we are in Colorado, it’s winter here. It’s hard for us to get outside and train during those winter months where they can train all year round. It’s really kind of a big deal,” she added.

The climate doesn’t make it easy to be a Colorado-based beach volleyball team, but it made them tough.

“I think it’s just playing through adversity I think really helped us. Being able to train outside when it was 30 degrees. Our team is just really gritty and they know how to win,” said Strong.

Heading into her third season as an assistant coach, Strong hopes to help her team carry their momentum over to the indoor season this fall. She says thankful for the love she’s received from her home state and from people who continue to follow her journey.

“It’s just very Iowa,” said Strong. “The support that people have back home is just really amazing.”

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