Brunsting has been something of a jack-of-all trades during her career with the
UC San Diego Women's Volleyball team. After turning in the second and third
best single season dig totals in UCSD history as a freshman and sophomore and
grabbing Honorable Mention All-America honors as a libero in 2009, she was
switched to outside hitter and spent considerable time at setter under new Head
Coach Ricci Luyties in her junior season. She first team All-CCAA and All-West
Region accolades last fall, as well as another Honorable Mention All-America
nod after finishing first on the team in aces, as well as second in kills,
assists and digs. With her senior campaign just underway, the Chula Vista
native took time to talk about her time at UC San Diego and what she looks for
in this year's club.
Q-How does it feel to
open your final collegiate season in Hawaii?
BRUNSTING- It feels really good! I started my
career here as a redshirt and its a little surreal to be able to end it here as
Q-Career-wise, is it
hard to believe your senior season is here?
BRUNSTING-Honestly, yes! I have no idea where
my time went-it flew by so fast! And it's hard not to wish I could start over
with the knowledge and experience I have gained so far.
Q-As a player, do you
feel a heightened sense of urgency knowing this is the "last time around?" If
so, how have you reacted to that emotion?
BRUNSTING-I wouldn't say its a "heightened
sense of urgency." I honestly just want to enjoy my last season, and I know
that I will put in the work to do well with my team. I have just been thinking
about this season on a daily basis, so I can enjoy each moment and hopefully
squeeze as much as I can out of it.
Q-After holding down
the libero position as an underclassman, you switched between outside hitter
and setter last year as a junior? What's the plan in 2011?
BRUNSTING-It's looking like I will be setting
and playing opposite. But the real plan is to win! And I'm prepared to do
whatever I can to make the best team-wherever that puts me.
Q-In your mind, what
are the primary differences in the positions you've played and which do you
BRUNSTING-That is such a tough position, they
are all so different. I think each one is a favorite for different reasons, but
I do miss being a libero.
Q-This year's squad
has a heavy senior component with all four likely to be in the regular starting
lineup. Can you briefly talk about the strengths of your three senior teammates
and share what you think the four of you bring the team as a group?
BRUNSTING-There are so many strengths I couldn't
possibly name them all! But I think the biggest are that each one of us wants
to win and we know what it takes to put ourselves in a position to do that.
Q-Is there anyone
among the returners you feel is poised for a "breakout" season? Who has
impressed you among the newcomers?
BRUNSTING-To be honest, everyone came back
ready to go, and ready to be their best. The two starting freshmen Lauren
(Demos) and Amber (Hawthorne) have really bought their "A" game and a desire to
win. They have already started to take leadership roles and its awesome to be a
part of! And all of the returning sophmores have come back ready to play. Every
single member of this team has impressed me.
Q-You were a local
product, having graduated from Bonita Vista High School. Has it been a positive
playing relatively close to home? In what ways?
BRUNSTING-Yes, definitely. I have loved
staying close to my family and having the ability to play for them means the world
Q-Speaking of home,
your brother Mike was a freshman setter on the UCSD Men's Volleyball team last
spring. What was it like having him on campus and competing at UCSD? Do the two
of you ever confer on technique, strategy or anything else volleyball-related?
BRUNSTING-We definitely talk volleyball.
Staying in SD allowed me to follow his high school years so weve been talking
volleyball for some time now, and I love it! I have loved being able to see him
on a regular basis around campus, although I know I cramp his style.
Q-This is your second
season with Coach Ricci Luyties. What can you say about his coaching style and
how do you feel the team has responded to him?
BRUNSTING-He fosters an environment in which
true all-around volleyball players can succeed and really stresses working on
being able to play every part of the game. Its an intense environment, but at
the same time he knows what it means to love volleyball and reminds us we are
here to enjoy the journey. I think he is really creating an awesome team and a
great team feel. I can't wait to keep up with where he takes this program in
the next few years.
Q-Is he as laid back
as he seems? Is there anything that shakes him up or gets him perturbed?
BRUNSTING-He is laid back, but there are
definitely things that get under his skin. He has an intensity about him when
he needs it and he makes sure to keep us focused and on the right track.
reading and painting among your outside interests. What are some recent books
you'd recommend? What's your all-time favorite?
BRUNSTING-The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
trilogy is awesome! If you're into dry humor Christopher Moore is pretty
entertaining. As for my all time favorite.. thats a tough one. The Harry Potter
books, Ninteen Minutes by Jodi Piccoult, and the first two books in the Girl
With the Dragon Tattoo come to mind.
Q-How did you become
interested in painting? Is there any particular style that you prefer?
BRUNSTING-My grandfather taught me. And I stick
to acrylic because ts what I know, but I'd love to learn to paint with oil when
im older. As for a style.. I wouldn't say I have one, it always depends on my
mood or who I am painting for, as most of the paintings I have done have been
Q-You're a psychology
major at UCSD. What do you plan to do with that after graduating? Using what
you've learned, how would you describe your personality?
BRUNSTING-I want to play in Europe for at
least a year and hopefully figure out exactly what I want to do during that
time. I know I want to go to grad school for psych when I come back, I'm just
not sure what I want to specialize in yet. Unfortunately, I'm a phenomenal
procrastinator, so hopefully everything works itself out!
As for my personality.. I have learned a ton! I'd say I am pretty guarded, I
tend towards introversion, and I am a bit of a perfectionist. But I wear my
emotions on my sleeve amd am passionate about the things I believe in and the
people closest to me.
Q-The team has
reached the NCAA Playoffs in each of your first three seasons but never gone
beyond the regional semi-finals. What do you think this team is capable of?
BRUNSTING-This team is capable of anything!
And we won't know what that is until we get there, but I am confident that we
will be working hard every single day to make us the best we possibly can be
and then some when we get to post-season. I can't wait to find out where that
takes us! But for now I'll be enjoying every minute the journey.
Previous Q & A Articles
Jon Pascale (Men's Soccer) August 4, 2011
Vincent Nguyen (Tennis) July 1, 2011
Patti Gerckens (Softball) May 26, 2011
Blake Tagmyer (Baseball) May 11, 2011
Theresa Richards (Women's Track & Field) April 27, 2011
Austin West (Men's Tennis) April 17, 2011
Drew Lawyer (Men's Crew) April 11, 2011
Keith Okasaki (Men's Golf) March 26, 2011
Matt Herman (Men's Swimming & Diving) March 12, 2011
Hanalei Crowell (Women's Water Polo) March 5, 2011
Camille Gaito (Softball) February 23, 2011
Tim Shibuya (Baseball) February 8, 2011
Carl Eberts (Men's Volleyball) January 31, 2011
Neda Nguyen (Women's Swimming & Diving) January 24, 2011
Amy Bianchini (Fencing) January 14, 2011
Lauren Freidenberg (Women's Basketball) January 3, 2011
Christian Hatch (Men's Basketball) December 24, 2010
Blake Langland (Men's Swimming & Diving) November 27, 2010
Sarah McTigue (Women's Soccer) November 8, 2010
Brandon Yee (Men's Soccer) October 11, 2010
Bryce Madsen (Men's Water Polo) September 23, 2010
Annette Ilg (Women's Soccer) September 9, 2010
Ricci Luyties (Women's Volleyball Head Coach) August 24, 2010
Kevin Messey (Head Athletics Trainer) July 7, 2010
Dan O'Brien (Baseball Head Coach) June 18, 2010
Christine Merrill (Women's Track & Field) June 14, 2010
Vance Albitz (Baseball) May 11, 2010
Erik Elliott (Men's Tennis) May 3, 2010
Kelly Fogarty (Women's Track & Field) April 23, 2010
Liz LaPlante (Women's Tennis Head Coach) April 15, 2010
Kirby St. John (Baseball) March 24, 2010
Dan Perdew (Men's Swimming) February 28, 2010
Calvin Ross (Men's Volleyball) February 20, 2010
Nicole Saari (Softball) February 4, 2010
Brad Kreutzkamp (Women's Water Polo Head Coach) January 18, 2010
Tyler Acevedo (Men's Basketball) January 4, 2010
Dr. Cliff Kubiak (UCSD's Faculty Athletic Rep) December 18, 2009
Chelsea Carlisle (Women's Basketball) December 9, 2009
Carianne Cunningham (Women's Swimming) November 23, 2009
Elena Inouye (Cross Country) November 6, 2009
David Morton (Men's Water Polo) October 28, 2009
Juan Pablo Carillo (Men's Swimming) October 19, 2009
Sara Spaventa (Women's Soccer) October 10, 2009
Karen Reis (Women's Volleyball) October 2, 2009
Daniel Pavitt (Men's Soccer) September 23, 2009
Daniel Anderson (Cross Country) September 11, 2009
Peter Gresham (Men's Water Polo) September 2, 2009
Alexia Zatarain (Women's Soccer) August 24, 2009
Elaine Chen (Women's Volleyball) August 12, 2009
Jared Kukura (Men's Soccer) July 30, 2009
Dawn Lee (Former Women's Soccer Standout) July 8, 2009
Rob Mamula (Director of Athletic Performance) June 18, 2009
Garrett Imeson (Baseball) June 8, 2009
Leon Baham (Men's Track & Field) May 21, 2009
Kristyn Lesovsky (Softball) May 8, 2009
Kazumi Negishi (Men's Tennis) May 5, 2009
Laiah Blue (Women's Track & Field) April 16, 2009
Ryan Andre (Men's Crew) April 2, 2009
Josh Tanner (Baseball) March 24, 2009
Anju Shimura (Women's Swimming) March 7, 2009
Stephanie Bocian (Women's Water Polo) February 20, 2009
Lauren Chastain (Softball) February 5, 2009
A.J. Maulhardt (Men's Basketball) January 28, 2009
Annette Ilg (Women's Basketball) January 22, 2009
Steven Hardy (Men's Swimming) January 13, 2009
Frank Fritsch (Men's Volleyball) January 5, 2009