Q: What is their role on the team as freshmen?
A: They came to the team as defensive specialists. We went to a tournament early on in the year and we had a bunch of players who hadn’t reached eligibility yet. So, Annie and Angela joined us. They were promising freshmen on the JV team. But, we didn’t know who they were. They didn’t come to any summer stuff because they had just moved to [St. Louis]. And they played really, really well so we asked them to join us on varsity as defensive specialist. So they play back row for our outside hitters.”
Q:“What is their dynamic like since they are twins?
A: “So between each other, it is very much so that they are sisters. It’s kind of funny. They’re sisters in the fact that they bicker all the time. But at the same, I can use one of them to communicate to both because they talk to each other a lot. With the team, they’re very much so individuals. They have their own conversations with individuals on the team. But, sometimes they get lumped together when the team talks with them. They’ll be talking to the ‘twins’.
“They are very good. Whenever you put a freshman on varsity, there is always a worry with the mental aspect. You have to be mentally strong in volleyball, it’s very important. And I’ve seen it happen many times where you put a freshman on the varsity team and they just break down. They have the athletic skills to play there, but they don’t have the confidence to play there. And you make a couple of mistakes because of your lack of confidence and then beat yourself up. So, while there are a handful of freshmen that could’ve played varsity based on their skills, they need to have that mental game. So not only are they skilled, but they’re generally mentally strong enough to handle playing with juniors and seniors and not get to beat up on themselves.”
Q: How do you expect them to impact the volleyball program?
A: “Between them and another freshman, Lexi, our defense will probably continue to be one of the best defenses in the area. We are very, very talented as far as a passing group. Our serve receive and our defensive passing ability is going to be very strong. And that’s part of the issue with putting freshmen on varsity because you worry about breaking them down. But the twins and Lexi have already been exposed to this high level of competition and have shown that they can hang. They’re only going to get better.“
Q: Have they adapted well to the community?
A:“I think socially, very much so. I don’t see a whole lot of issues at Clayton where new students come in. Our community is very welcoming. It’s almost as if you get celebrity status if you came from somewhere else. Socially, absolutely. Academically, there’s more of a learning curve that they’re trying to figure out.”
Q: Are they competitive with each other?
A:“Oh yeah. They’re sisters. They’re definitely competitive. But not in a bad way. It’s interesting. They totally beat up on eachother and it means nothing to them.’
Q: Have they shown leadership?
A: “I think it’s been tough for them to show strong leadership since they’re still trying to figure their own way out. I think they’re learning a lot more about leadership and how things work at Clayton. Like they’ll bring up things they’ve done in Pittsburg in their club team. In that regard, they’re bringing a new viewpoint to the team.”
Q: Can you see their motivation?
A: “They just want to play. That’s all I see. They always want to progress and get better. They just love the sport.”
Q:What is their best attribute?
A: They’re very fun. They have great, positive attitudes — that ability to roll with the punches. I don’t think a lot of people talk about the mental aspect to play volleyball, particularly at their position. There is no opportunity to have a game-changing play other than you prevented the ball from hitting the ground. They have the ability to not bring themselves down. At least with them, from game one to game two, things are dropped.”