Tracy Westra, the Trojans' senior setter and a third-year varsity player, recently surpassed the 1,000-assist mark and leads 18-10 Timothy Christian. She played as a right side and backup setter as a sophomore, and has been the starting setter for the last two years. Westra, the Suburban Life Athlete of the Week sponsored by Gracik Makinney, spoke with sports editor Joshua Welge about the season. Here's an edited transcript:
Welge: Do you feel like the season is coming together?
Westra: Yes, the middle of the season, it was a little rough but now I think it's coming together. We've been working hard on our defense and speeding up our offense.
Welge: You missed some time with a sprained ankle. How are you feeling now?
Westra: I'm pretty much back to normal. It's 100 percent, feeling good.
Welge: What did passing the 1,000-assist mark for your career mean?
Westra: My dad actually told me about it a couple weeks ago. Yeah, it's cool. I've spent a lot of time working on getting the ball to the target. And the hitters have helped a lot.
Welge: What are the keys to an accurate set?
Westra: I would say getting my feet square to the ball and squaring up to the target, and also making sure it is high enough and a good tempo. I've been working on it a lot at club, with First Alliance.
Welge: What's it like playing with your sister (Heidi)?
Westra: It's really fun, I like playing with her. This is the first time i've been able to play with her in any sport in high school. We have a really good connection. It's fun.
Welge: You moved to setter a couple years ago. How did you work at making the adjustment?
Westra: When I played right side, we had a senior setter. I played both right side and setter for club. When she graduated I moved to setter. It's a lot harder, I'm more of a quiet person. I think I've grown a lot in the last few years.
Welge: You have a big match coming up next week (Oct. 16) with Chicago Christian. What do you think?
Westra: They are, for sure, a rival. We've been working a lot on defense and preparing for their big hitters. It's our Senior Night, it will be fun to play in the WAC (the new Ward Athletic Center), in the big environment..