Lindsey Dulude excels in the classroom and on the volleyball court for CMU

Central volleyball player Lindsey Dulude shows the same level of focus in the classroom as she does on the court.

Lindsey Dulude may be considered a jock because she spends most of her time playing volleyball when she isn’t taking notes or preparing for the next exam in class. However, Dulude is breaking the “dumb jock” stereotype by showing the world that athletes can have both skills and brains with a current GPA of a 3.97.

Even though she received a full-ride scholarship to come to Central Michigan University, this was not the only reason Dulude chose to make CMU her collegiate home.

“To me, it was never really an option when coach offered me my scholarship,” said Dulude. “He said that I had to go to another school, look at another school before I chose Central to make sure it was the right fit. I really didn’t want to but I did it anyway. Ever since I was little, I was coming to volleyball and football, and basketball games with the little Central cheer leading outfit on. So to me, it was my dream to play at Central and once that dream became a reality, it was one of the best … it’s been the best four years of my life.”

Attending CMU runs in the Dulude family. Her father and brother both attended CMU playing baseball and she’s following her mother, CMU Athletics Hall of Fame Volleyball player, Terri Phillion-Dulude’s footsteps by playing volleyball. But as a second-generation athlete, Dulude feels anything but high expectations.

“I don’t feel any pressure,” Dulude said. “The game has changed so much since she was here to now and she has a great legacy here and she’s a great role model for me, but I don’t feel like I need to live up to those standards. I have expectations to see how good I can be and be my own best.”

Someone who knows when Lindsey is truly at her best is her volleyball coach Erik Olson. Having known her since she was in seventh grade, Olson considers himself a father figure to Dulude.

“I met her at my first camp, two weeks into the job here at Central,” said Olson. “She was a skinny little teenager who was super intense and just wanted to be the best volleyball player she can possibly be and I wouldn’t describe her any different today. She’s a lot stronger but her passion and her desire to get better on the other basis is unmatched. That’s exactly how you would want to describe every one of your players.”

While balancing academics and sports, Dulude understands the importance of having priorities straight and good time management.

“The hardest thing about being a student athlete is learning time management skills because you really have barely time to eat and sleep, it feels like,” said Dulude. “Especially in-season, but time management skills (are) the key to being able to be a well-balanced student athlete … it’s doing homework between classes. It’s just using your time wisely.”

It’s easy for players to learn from their coaches. Olson admits that he’s learned something from Dulude as well.

“Lindsey’s a hard one to push because she pushes herself so hard,” said Olson. “So sometimes telling her (do) your best — even though you know she’s giving her best — isn’t good enough. I’m asking you to go to another level. Sometimes that can be the hardest thing when a kid’s absolutely giving you her entire heart and you have that heart right there, you can almost feel it pulsing. I still have to say we have to squeeze that heart a little harder. She’s given me the courage to do that.”

Dulude calls herself a “perfectionist” and strives for excellence on and off the field.

“I just try to be the best in all facets of my life whether it’s on the court, off the court, relationships, hobbies that I do,” said Dulude. ”I just try to be well-rounded in all aspects. It’s just something I strive for.”

Throughout all of her success, Dulude still remains humble and feels that she’s only in the position she is in today because of her family and team.

“My teammates inspire me as a group,” said Dulude. “We really focus on being one team and being together and being our best everyday as a team and as individuals. Without them I wouldn’t be where I’m at today or be as successful as I have been throughout my four years.”

When Lindsey isn’t studying for exams or playing the game she loves, she relaxes by hanging out with the people she loves.

“When I don’t play volleyball, which is rare, and when I’m not in class, which is rare, I like to shop, go to the lake, hang out with my teammates, hang out with family,” said Dulude.

When Dulude isn’t being inspired by her teammates, she is inspiring her teammates.

“The stereotype is obviously there, but its great to see a person like Lindsey,” said sophomore, Kaitlyn McIntyre, alluding to the ‘dumb jock’ stereotype. “Great in the classroom, great on the court for our team. She’s just a great figure of leadership on our team and a lot of us look to be like her just on the court and in the classroom too.”

Olsen understands what Dulude can improve on and knows what she is capable of. He said what makes her different from other players is she has “Dulude intensity.”

“We call it the Dulude intensity. It’s just an energy that’s kind of contagious,” said Olson. “Most of her career, she hasn’t been the best outside hitter, but she’s had the most heart and the most desire to be good every single play. So that just keeps her on the court and that also keeps her getting better. She’s always getting better and she makes others around her better because she understands the game and she communicates. There have been players that have been more physical than her on our roster, but she wins out because of that volleyball IQ and that determination and desire to accomplish something and success is a choice type of stuff just bleeds on her. That’s Lindsey Dulude.”

Scheduled to graduate in May, Dulude has gained and accomplished a lot. She cites her biggest accomplishment as starting as a freshman for volleyball as a six rotation outside hitter. Though this is her last season, she hopes to make this season the best yet.

“After these four years, that’ll be it,” said Dulude. “But I want to make it these best four years and I have a couple months left. I want to make the most of it.”