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Chico State Volleyball Legends Erica Brick and Lindsay Macias Enter the Wildcat Hall of Fame Together

Split Images of two volleyball players next to a graphic that reads, "Chico State Hall of Fame, Class of 2024."

Erica Brick (left) and Lindsay Macias will enter the Chico State Hall of Fame together.

Erica Brick and Lindsay Macias will forever be linked together for their role in the best four-year run in Chico State volleyball history. Together, the pair helped establish the program as a perennial power while racking up individual records and honors. Both Brick and Macias were four-time All-CCAA players and three-time All-West Region honorees. By the time they graduated, Brick was the program’s all-time leader in assists while Macias was (and still is) atop the record books in kills.

“What made us a great pair is that our positions were complementary of each other,” said Macias. “She was a setter. I was a hitter. So, we really needed each other to show up at our best every day. And I think we just fed off each other’s energy and intensity.”

The two close friends’ parallel careers go even further than their time on the court at Chico State. Each arrived on campus after finishing off outstanding prep careers in Orange County. They were roommates for two years while in Chico, have remained close since graduating, and were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings. Now, both are mothers of two young boys.

Now busy with successful careers and families, the pair don’t see each other quite as much as they used to. When they do get together with former teammates, they reminisce about Chico State, the fun they had together on and off the court, the close relationships they built with student-athletes throughout the athletic department, and the monumental impact their coach, the late Cody Hein, had on their lives.

It is only fitting that Macias and Brick will add one more shared accomplishment to their list—they will be inducted into the Chico State Athletics Hall of Fame together on September 21, 2024.

“It’s going to be really special to stand next to Lindsay to accept this honor,” said Brick. “We’ve played together since we were teenagers and have built such a strong bond over the years.”

Macias first met Brick as a 14-year-old when she joined the traditionally strong Laguna Beach Volleyball Club program. Macias had just begun playing the game after focusing on basketball. At 5’11” and a naturally gifted athlete, she picked up the game quickly and made the varsity team the next year at Northwood High School in Irvine. By the time she graduated, she was named a First Team All-CIF South Section, two-time All-Pacific Coast League, and All-City player.

“Anyone who knows Lindsay knows she is just a great athlete. She would always amaze us because she was just good at everything,” said Brick. “Our (Laguna Beach) coaches saw her potential immediately and wanted to hone her volleyball skills. It didn’t take long for her to become pretty incredible out there.”

Brick, on the other hand, was undersized throughout her career but had been introduced to the game at 9 years old by her mother who played at the local YMCA. Already a polished player by the time she entered high school as a setter, she controlled the game with her quickness and by consistently putting the ball in positions for her hitters to succeed. She was All-Sea View League for four seasons while competing at Aliso Niguel High School.

“Erica just made everyone better. She’s an amazing player and one of those leaders that just makes you want to give your best,” said Macias. “I remember one point when we both looked at each other and said, ‘What if we both went to Chico?’”

Macias signed to play at Chico State first, and Brick followed soon thereafter. Both gave up potential Division 1 offers to play for Hein and for the opportunity to play right away. They also fell in love with the campus and Chico’s college-town feel.

“What I liked about Chico State was the balance of athletics, academics, and life,” said Brick, who graduated cum laude. “A lot of D1s felt like they didn’t have that balance.”

For Macias, it was the opportunity to turn around a program and play for Hein that convinced her to sign with Chico State.

“I met Cody at a club volleyball tournament, and I thought, ‘wow, this guy is very personable and down to Earth, and he seems like a great coach,’” said Macias. “I took my visit and got to meet the team and was blown away. I remember thinking this looks like a lot of fun. They work hard, play volleyball, and have fun together while doing it all. It looks like an amazing opportunity.”

The initial infatuation was mutual. When Macias officially signed on December 15, 2004, Hein said: “Lindsay fits in perfectly with what we are looking for from every recruit—passion and toughness, as well as filling the specific need of a terminating outside hitter. Plus, she’s a great kid who will add a lot to the program off the court too. We expect her to make an immediate impact in a lot of areas for us.”

Brick signed in May 2005 and arrived on campus with this scouting report from Hein: “Erica was the top setter on our recruiting list. We’ll be a significantly deeper, stronger, and more versatile team with her here.”

The pair lived up to and exceeded the hype, and were joined in that recruiting class by Megan Cape, Amy Jones, Abbey Ranzau, and Kelly Smiland. Those six who became the volleyball class of 2008 are among the best recruiting classes, regardless of sport, in modern Chico State athletics history. 

They joined a team that finished 5-22 the year before and immediately began to turn things around. Brick and Macias entered the starting lineup as freshmen and rekindled the chemistry they developed playing for Laguna Beach.

“By the time we got to Chico State, we had played so much together we could make eye contact on the court and know what the other was thinking,” said Brick. “I think having that prior experience gave us an advantage right away as freshmen.”

The 2005 team finished 13-13 with both Brick and Macias earning All-Conference honors. Both were just getting started.

The 2006 team raced out to a 12-1 record with Brick, Macias, and senior Jamie Houle (Chico State Hall of Fame class of 2023) leading the way. They won the season-opening Seawolf Spike Tournament (Brick was named tournament MVP) and made a national statement early in the season by beating UC San Diego on the road, who was 8-0 and had not dropped a set at the time.

The team finished the regular season 20-5 and earned its first NCAA Championship Tournament berth since 1992.

Hein, speaking to the Chico Enterprise-Record in advance of the Wildcats match, didn’t hold back on how they got there: “There’s one person on this team that seems to make everyone better, and that’s Erica,” Hein said. “She makes our hitters better by what she’s setting, she makes our passers better by getting to balls that most setters couldn’t, and she makes them all better by knowing when they’re confident and when they aren’t.”

Chico State’s first NCAA tournament game in 14 years did not disappoint. The Wildcats rallied from down 2-1 to defeat Seattle Pacific in five thrilling sets. Macias ended the match with her 16th kill of the night. Brick tallied 55 assists, one off her season high.

Though the Wildcats’ season ended the next night in a four-set loss to Cal State San Bernadino, it is still regarded as the best season in program history. Brick and Macias garnered All-Conference and All-Region honors. Brick was also named a Third-Team All-American.

“That win (over Seattle Pacific) really established us in the region. It had been way too long for Chico State,” said Macias. “I think for the rest of our careers, we’d earned that respect. Our opponents didn’t look forward to playing us.”

Macias has carried that respect and what she learned managing athletics, academics, and her active social life at Chico State into her career. After graduating with a BS in accounting and finance in 2009, she has spent the last 13 years at Moss Adams in Irvine. As a certified CPA, she works in the firm’s restaurant industry group where she prepares financial statements, manages audit and review engagements, and handles acquisition accounting.

Brick graduated in 2009 with a BA in liberal studies and moved to San Francisco. She started working at Trulia, a tech real estate company in 2010 and quickly moved into a role as a user experience researcher. While working at Trulia, she obtained her MA in human computer interaction from San Jose State in 2014 and then joined Weebly to form their UX research team in 2015. She and her family moved to Eagle, Idaho, and she has spent the last six years working at Google as head of UX research for Kaggle.

In 2007, the Wildcats entered the season with sky-high expectations but endured an uneven season. They finished 16-13 but rallied to earn a second straight NCAA Tournament berth.

Macias ended her junior year with a new Chico State record for career kills at 1,167 and All-America honorable mention, and Brick became the only setter in Chico State history to register 1,000 or more assists in three seasons.

Motivated to make the most of their senior seasons, 2008 started fast with the Wildcats once again winning the Seawolf Spike classic. Brick was again named Tournament MVP and broke the program’s all-time assists record, fittingly, on a kill by Macias in the second match of the year. During a six-game winning streak through the middle of CCAA play, Hein described his game plan simply as, “get the ball to Lindsay Macias.”

Macias notched her 1,000th career dig (the most by a non-libero in Chico State history at the time) in an October match against Sonoma State. On Halloween night, the Wildcats upset 13th-ranked Cal State LA to bolster their postseason chances and then dispatched Dominguez Hills the next night, which was senior night.

“I remember senior night being very special for all of us. Our moms, who were our biggest fans, all came dressed as cheerleaders and created cheers,” said Macias.

From L to R: Kelly Smiland, Megan Cape, Abbey Ranzau, Erica Brick, Amy Jones, and Lindsay Macias on Senior Night in 2008.

The Wildcats upset Sonoma State in the first round of the NCAA tournament before falling to longtime nemesis Cal State San Bernadino in a match that ended with a few tears and a lot of hugs.

“I think the end of your career hits you over time because it is your whole identity for so long,” said Brick. “But, like anything else, your identity shifts. Chico State volleyball will always be one big chapter that I look back on and am exceptionally grateful for so many reasons.”

Chico State finished the 2008 season 21-11. Brick earned a trove of postseason awards. She was named All-CCAA for the fourth consecutive year, First Team All-Region and honorable mention All-American. She was named 2008 Chico State Female Athlete of the Year, won the Richard Dahl Scholar Athlete award, and was an NCAA Woman of the Year nominee.

Macias became a more versatile player in 2008 and showcased her all-around game as she led all CCAA outside hitters in digs while leading the Wildcats in kills, digs, and service reception percentage. She was named Second-Team all CCAA and All-West Region honorable mention.

The Hall of Fame induction will be the first visit to Chico State for Macias and Brick since Hein’s 2020 celebration of life ceremony.

“He was an incredible human and he poured his heart into the volleyball program. He believed that good teammates are more than just people who play together. He believed good teammates would do anything for each other, on and off the court,” said Macias. “I definitely have Cody to thank for introducing me to some of my best friends. My life is forever changed because I came to Chico State to play for him.”

Brick, when speaking about Hein, noted he was and still is like a second dad in some ways.

“He took everyone under his wing and made sure that we all felt special and valued in our own way,” said Brick. “He was a great coach who could change his approach for different times and different people. He cared deeply about each and every one of us and was just a really amazing person.”

As parents, both Macias and Brick now better recognize the support they received from their parents who drove them around Southern California every weekend to play club volleyball and showed up at nearly every Chico State game. When Brick is honored, she will be thinking about her father Joe, a Chico State volleyball superfan who recently passed away.

“He loved every single minute of me playing and was always there every game, alongside my mom,” said Brick. “Even after I was done playing, he would call and let me know how Chico State volleyball was doing.”

Recognizing the significance of the moment, both Macias and Brick are planning to bring their families and as many former teammates to the celebration as they can. They look forward to reminiscing, experiencing the campus once again, celebrating with those closest to them, and putting their names in the Chico State record books one last time . . . together, of course.

“I’m extremely humbled and excited. Going into the Hall of Fame together is just an amazing experience,” said Macias. “I can’t imagine my college athletic career or my Chico State experience without Erica.”

(The Chico State class of 2024 Hall of Fame Ceremony is scheduled for September 21, 2024. Tickets can be purchased on the Chico Athletics Website).