Nov. 17, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa - By weekday she's a dedicated student-manager, buried in books and volleyballs as she balances her pursuit of an English B.A. and her passion for the volleyball court. But on weekends, she's a fun-size sensation sweeping the online world. Decorated in superhero-like Hawkeye travel sweats, she uses the power of her fingertips to alert the cyber-world of incoming outside, back row and right side attacks. She is... Melissa Brockway, Official Iowa Volleyball Blogger.
Since the fall of 2009 and the inception of the Official Iowa Volleyball Blog, Brockway has been a force behind the keyboard delivering Iowa's live online play-by-play.
"My first blog was from West Point," said Brockway, referring to the Hawkeyes' three-game series on the campus of Army. "It was fun. It was the first time I got to combine my English major world and my volleyball world. Usually those worlds are exclusive from each other."
Brockway has been a volleyball manager since 2007. She's responsible for setting up video equipment, coordinating data volley statistics and keeping practice stats, among other things. Because of her wide range of responsibilities she's unable to host the volleyball blog during home events. She relinquished those duties to former Hawkeyes Catherine Smale in 2009 and Katie Kennedy in 2010. But since that September weekend in West Point, she's been the written voice of the Hawkeyes for every Iowa road trip, hosting a total of 26 blogs heading into this weekend's two-match series at Illinois and Wisconsin.
"For me the blog is all about being able to kind of paint a picture of what's going on for people who can't be there," said Brockway. "They're probably listening on the radio or Internet, so I sit by the radio broadcaster while blogging and try to add information that he may not be able to provide."
The number of her loyal followers reaches into the hundreds and includes Hawkeye fans, players' parents, department staff and even some family.
"My mom is pretty much always online," said Brockway. "The practice players are usually online. The Bolts and Mama Yeager are some of the regulars, but there are always a lot of parents and fans that just enjoy following the team."
The interactive nature of the blog allows Iowa fans to join together to cheer and encourage the Hawkeyes in a public environment without having to the make a trip across the Midwest.
"I love when people comment. I love when there is banter back and forth between people, or when they ask questions and they don't understand something about the game. I want to be an English teacher and I want to be a volleyball coach, and the blog allows me to practice both skills. It's very exciting to be able to merge two things I love."
Nickname: Fun Size
Movie Theater or movies at home? At home because I'm the most frugal person alive
One thing you can't go a day without: Sarcasm
What fills up your inbox? YouTube cat videos from my dad, word-of-the-day emails, Facebook notifications
Breakfast, lunch or dinner: I prefer snacking at various intervals.
Three people you'd like to have dinner with: Grandma, J.K. Rowling, Avett Brothers
Something people don't know about you: I tie-dye my own shirts
My Favorite -
Midnight snack: Chips and Salsa
TV show: Modern Family
Dream car: I ride my bike
Prized possession: My bike
Athlete: Apollo Ohno
Holiday: Thanksgiving because that's when I used to spend the most time with my cousins
Seriously, favorite movie? Armageddon's up there.