Women’s Volleyball: Familial duel: Dinos-Huskies series match-up sisters

Check out the local high school and post-secondary sports scene and you’ll find a number of sibling teammates using “sister power” to vanquish foes. But, what happens if the family is apparently geared to playing the exact same position?

Red Deer natives Brittany and Tahnee Hutton discovered this past weekend when their respective teams–the University of Calgary Dinos and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies–clashed in league play. Both being setters, not wishing to fight for the same position on the same team–amongst other considerations for choosing a school–they now get to peer at each other through a mesh net not unlike razor-wired fencing on a battlefield when the Canada West rivals meet.

With a three year age gap between fourth year Dino starter Brittany and first-year Husky back-up Tahnee, the sisters have never played together or against one another in any formal league until this season.

In Friday’s 3-0 Dino rout, Tahnee saw action only towards the end when, with the writing on the wall, Husky fifth-year starter Maja Cerovsek came out. By this time Brittany too had subbed out, relieving the sisters of an actual on-court showdown.

“My teammates were looking at me funny on the bench,” said Brittany. “I couldn’t help but to cheer for my little sister.”

Tahnee was equally supportive of her sister after the Friday night game.

“Wow, this is such an opportunity,” said Tahnee. “I got to watch my sister play from a courtside seat. How else could I ever experience that except for being on the other team?”

In the much closer Saturday night 3-2 squeaker for the Dinos, providence did not spare the family

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from actual court face-offs, as the two contested some key points.

The added pressure did not seem to shake the sisterly friendship or goodwill.

“I don’t really think of her as being my rival,” said Brittany “It’s really cool just to think, ‘Hey, I have a sister in the [Canadian Interuniversity Sports]… and there she is.'”

Being from the same family could potentially make the sisters play harder or softer against one another. Both agree they don’t really think about it and just play the game. However, Tahnee–who chose to be a setter in no small part because of looking up to her older sis–admitted to one concern.

“I saw her across from me and thought, ‘Oh, no! I can’t screw up or my sister will see!'” said Tahnee.

Their Red Deer-based parents, who drive to all possible games in both Saskatoon and Calgary, seem to be holding up fine too.

“We don’t go for one over the other,” said the girls’ father, Don Hutton. “We just cheer for them to have good games. But having cheered for the Dinos for four years it is very hard not to go for the Dinos.”

Next season Brittany will be in her fifth and final year, and Tahnee will likely assume the starting role at the U of S, meaning the sibling rivalry promises to be much more intense. Don’t assume this will lead to the sisters launching 120 km/h rocket kills at each other.

“We’ll still be this friendly,” laughed Tahnee. “Besides, we’re setters. We don’t have to do the actual hitting anyhow.”

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