Records get Johnson-Brock setter Brynn Westenburg in the spotlight

Johnson-Brock’s Brynn Westenburg is more than a setter.

She’s a record setter.

The senior recently broke the Class D-1 state record for career assists, moving past the 2007 mark of 2,550 by Lawrence-Nelson’s Julie Wehrman. Westenburg set the record in a recent victory over Diller-Odell.

But the modest setter is the first to say she couldn’t have done it alone.

“It’s a big accomplishment for our team,” she said. “Our hitters always make me look good even when I don’t put the ball exactly where I want it.”

Westenburg is no stranger to that NSAA record book. She already holds the Class D-1 marks for assist average per match (31), most assists in a match (64) and assists in a season (1,085).

“It’s another big accomplishment for her,” Johnson-Brock coach Tera Stutheit said. “Brynn plays with a lot of tenacity and really works hard.”

Westenburg began her varsity career as a defensive specialist while her older sister Brooklyn was the Eagles’ senior setter. Brynn took over the position as a sophomore and has been a key performer on Johnson-Brock’s two state championship teams.

“She has a very high volleyball IQ,” Stutheit said. “She’s also a really good defender and is always aware of what needs to be done.”

The 5-foot-6 Westenburg, a three-sport athlete, said she understands her role as the team’s floor leader.

“The big thing is that you need to be focused for every point,” she said. “You’re watching their hitters and concentrating on making good sets for your own hitters.”

Westenburg has the good fortune of playing with two of the biggest hitters in Class D-1 — Fallon Stutheit and Kaitlynn Simon. Stutheit, the coach’s daughter, pounded a class-record 539 kills last season while Simon had 301.

“It definitely helps when you’re setting players like that,” Westenburg said. “We all have good communications because we’ve been playing together since elementary school.”

As the two-time defending champion, Johnson-Brock got off to another strong start this year. The Eagles won their first 16 matches before taking on Diller-Odell last week.

“I knew before that match that Brynn needed 23 assists to break the record,” Tera Stutheit said. “She had 45 that night.”

After setting the mark in a four-set victory, Westenburg went on Facebook to thank her team for the “assist.” The Eagles went on to win two more matches before suffering their first loss Saturday against Class C-1 Lincoln Christian.

“I was proud of the way we fought back, but we came up a little short,” Westenburg said. “Sometimes you can take winning for granted, and we’ll learn from it.”

Despite the loss, Johnson-Brock remains No. 1 in the Class D-1 ratings. The Eagles appear poised for a third straight state tournament appearance in quest of a third consecutive title.

“Getting the (assist) record is nice, but winning state is our goal,” Westenburg said. “That’s all we really want.”

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