Feature by Student Assistant Rico Chow (RC)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara volleyball player Emily Burke (EB), a junior, an outstanding Western Athletic Conference setter, transferred from San Jose State University and played the first season as the Bronco family last season. She played in 32 sets, averaged 7.57 apg and gathered 16 service aces. She was also named Most Inspirational Player at the annual volleyball banquet on the Feb. 20, 2010.
RC: What made you decide to transfer to Santa Clara University?
EB: I decided to go to Santa Clara because I still wanted to stay close to home. I grew up watching Santa Clara volleyball as a kid. I loved the atmosphere, the sense of community and the games. The campus is beautiful and I had heard great things from friends who go here.
RC: How does Santa Clara University different from San Jose State University in terms of academics, athletics and social life?
EB: Santa Clara is a smaller school making the class sizes significantly smaller than San Jose State, which I really enjoy. Having a relationship with all of my professors helps me in the learning process. The social life is different because of the amount of people on campus. At Santa Clara I always see someone I know either from my team or people I have met since my time here.
RC: Why did you choose the setter position? Did anyone or any event influence you to make that decision?
EB: I chose to be a setter when I was 12 years old. My coach was Roz Pelayo and she was a setter at Santa Clara. I loved watching her play, learned a lot from her coaching me and just watching what she did.
RC: How do you decide whom to set the ball to during the game? Does the coach gives you the signs or do you decide extemporaneously at that moment?
EB: I call a play at the beginning of each rally and then depending on what the other team is doing, I make the decision of who to set in the moment. Sometimes there are specific plays when I want to set a certain person.
RC: What would you say the role of a setter in the volleyball team?
EB: The most common example is the quarterback of the team. I believe the setter is the leader on the court who everyone looks to in every play. The setter is involved in every play making each touch important.