Five questions with Mercer Island volleyball player Sara Lindquist, a Dartmouth commit who helped the Islanders finish 24-1 last season. She hits the ball with power and could wind up with some vocal hits as well.
Q: What was it like growing up with two athletic brothers (Sam plays baseball at Stanford and Jeff plays football at UW)?
A: The three of us have a really, really good relationship, which I’m super lucky for, so I’ve personally never felt any pressure, just because we’re all so supportive of each other. My brothers are both super gifted and very devoted athletes, so it’s been really fun to watch them and learn from them, and I’ve totally cherished our ability to understand each other and support each other.
Q: You are a gifted singer as well, and I understand you are in the process of putting an album together. How did you get started and what kinds of music do you like?
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A: I’ve been singing since as long as I can remember and I’ve just loved it as a way of self-expression and it’s a stress-free and really fun place for me to just relax and express myself. … I’ve had some opportunities to do some recording, and that’s what I’m very passionate about. … I love country and I love Christian music, I love all types of music. I have a very wide taste, and good music you can dance to is fun, too.
Q: You were more of a basketball player when you were younger. What made you decide to focus on volleyball starting in middle school?
A: The reason I was so drawn to it was because I think of the central team aspect and the relationships that are built in the game. It really is a team sport. Every person’s role on the team is super important, everyone’s attitude. And I love that every point counts, and it makes for a competitive drive and it’s really fun to feed off of.
Q: Mercer Island had a great run last year, but fell short of your ultimate goal to win the 3A state title, losing to eventual champion Prairie (3-2) in the first round and bouncing back to take seventh. What are your thoughts looking back on that season and how has it motivated this year’s team, which is ranked No. 2?
A: It definitely was very emotional at the time. It was really hard at first, right in the moment, after we lost to Prairie. But when you look back on it, it just comes down to the fact that they outplayed us that day. Looking back on it now, I’m actually super proud of our team and the way we responded and the way we bounced back. And for the girls on the team last year that experienced that, I think that’s going to be very helpful and motivational for this year, because we know what it felt like and have motivation to push through that and not let it happen again. … I think we’re going to be very strong contenders for the state championship, for sure.
Q: You are playing all-around for Mercer Island for the first time this season. What’s your favorite part of the game?
A: I love passing in the back row. Being competitive with serve receive is very fun, changing your mindset so you want the server to serve to you so you can get the pass. And of course hitting and getting a kill is a really, really great feeling and the exhilaration from that is awesome, and blocking, too. … But when the whole team comes together, where you get a really good dig from one of your players, an awesome set and a kill, where your team all rocks a point and you can come together and just celebrate. The celebration is definitely my favorite.