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Athlete of the Week: Sierra Tyson ’23

6 mins read

Currently seated at second place for the most digs in the Centennial Conference, Sierra Tyson, a sophomore from San Francisco, CA, has been playing an operative role in Swarthmore volleyball’s success. Tyson helped secure the victory against Ursinus College this past Tuesday after completing thirty digs and three aces. Swarthmore volleyball will next play against Dickinson College, competing at home in Tarble Pavilion on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Ally Scheve: What attracted you to Swarthmore’s volleyball program?

Sierra Tyson: I had an amazing experience during my overnight visit where I felt like I really got to see the personality of the team and envision myself living on campus. All of the girls were super nice and very passionate about their subject area. Their drive, focus, and commitment to the team really inspired me and made my decision to come to Swat super easy.

AS: What is your major and why?

ST: My freshman year I went on an externship where I had the opportunity to tour a bunch of tech companies in San Francisco such as Airbnb, Salesforce, Google, and StitchFix and met many amazing alumni. I could really see myself working for one of these companies, so I decided to finally take my first computer science class over the summer (CS21). I immediately fell in love with coding and have done a few projects and internships since then.

AS: What are your personal and team goals for the rest of the season?

ST: My personal goal for the rest of the season is to keep getting the most digs per set in the conference and try my best to get the most digs overall. My team goals are to win the conference and get a spot in the tournament.

AS: What is your favorite thing to do with the volleyball team off the field?

ST: My favorite thing to do with the team off the field is definitely watching different TV shows. Every week after practice when we have some free time, we will find an empty classroom and watch a popular TV show on Netflix. Recently, we finished watching “Squid Game,” which everyone has been talking about recently. After each episode, we would make a prediction of what would happen in the next episode. 

AS: What are your pre- and post-game rituals?

ST: My pre-game rituals are watching games of my favorite liberos such as Morgan Hentz (Stanford) and Mary Lake (BYU) and listening to my favorite music. I love watching them play, because they use every part of their body to get the ball while keeping perfect form. My post-game rituals are getting dinner in Media or Philadelphia and spending time relaxing with my friends. 

AS: What is the most important lesson that you have learned from your time on the team?

ST: I think the most important lesson I learned from my time on the team is that the things you do behind the scenes are extremely important in improving your performance. Activities such as watching film, spending extra time stretching, and getting enough sleep are just as important as training during practices. I think an equally important lesson I’ve learned is the importance of stepping up when your team needs you and showing confidence in whatever you do. When I see my team get discouraged after a tough point or set, I do my best to lift the team’s spirits and show confidence that we can beat any team when all of us are determined and motivated.

AS: What has been your favorite moment of the season thus far?

ST: I think my favorite moment of the season so far was when we beat Franklin & Marshall College in five sets. The first two sets we absolutely crushed them and then in the fourth and fifth sets they came back and adjusted to our hitting strategies. Since we were playing at F&M, the crowd was cheering super loud against us but I felt like this was the first time we really played together with confidence. We were able to keep the energy up on our side and serve them out of the game.

AS: What is your favorite part about your position as a libero?

ST: I have played as a setter my entire life, so this was definitely an exciting change. I think my favorite part about playing libero is the pure thrill of digging a really hard dig or tip and doing everything to get the ball up. Playing as a libero reminds me a lot of when I used to play beach volleyball and would be diving everywhere on the court and having to read what the hitter was doing. I love that I get the first touch on the ball every play and support the hitters by covering blocks or giving locations to hit.

AS: Favorite Sharples bar?

ST: My favorite Sharples bar is definitely pasta bar! I love mixing the sauces and getting the garlic bread they always serve.

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