Athlete of the Week: Sarah Girard ’19

This season, the Women’s Volleyball team won a school-record 27 games in addition to its second straight ECAC championship. One of the main contributors to the team’s sustained success was libero Sarah Girard ’19. Over the past two years, Girard has been a digging machine. She was awarded the 2015 Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year and was named to the 2015 and 2016 All-Centennial Conference first teams. Though only a sophomore, her 988 digs place her just outside the top 10 on Swarthmore’s career digs list, and her 4.53 digs/set is the highest mark in school history.
THE PHOENIX: What do you like most about being a student-athlete?
SARAH GIRARD: There are a lot of great parts of being a student-athlete, like the chance to play against some amazing teams and the opportunity to continue competing at the collegiate level. I think the best part, though, is the second family I get away from home. If I’m having a rough week or need someone to talk to, it’s so reassuring to know that I have a whole team of amazing women in my corner.  
TP: What is your (prospective) major, and what influenced you to pursue it?
SG: While I’m still not completely decided, I’m planning to double major in mathematics and political science.
TP: How does it feel to repeat as ECAC Champions?
SG: Although it’s not the outcome we were aiming for, I’m still really proud of our team for winning ECACs again this year. After losing to Hopkins in the conference championship match, we challenged ourselves to stay competitive despite our disappointment, and it was so nice to end the season on a win.
TP: How will your ECAC success prepare you for a future NCAA tournament run?
SG: Hopefully, our ECAC championships will serve as stepping stones that will eventually lead us to the NCAAs. Every year, it seems like we get closer and closer to making it to the tournament, so I feel like our success in the ECACs just shows that we are capable of achieving this goal if we continue to put in the work.
TP: What is it like to be named first-team all conference in each of your first two years?
SG: It’s definitely rewarding to be recognized individually, but volleyball is unique in the way every single player on the court and bench contributes something important to the team’s success. I wouldn’t get nearly as many digs without the blockers setting me up for success or my teammates pushing me to play my best every day in practice.

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