COLUMBIA — Madelyn and Emily Tegerdine say they haven't talked much about what it would be like to play varsity volleyball together for Hickman High School.
Madelyn, a junior, is on the varsity squad, while sophomore Emily plays with thejunior varsity. But before a recent practice, the sisters let themselves look forward to that possibility.
"I've had... a mental picture of us playing together," Madelyn Tegerdine said. "It would be cool to hear two Tegerdines starting."
"That would sound pretty nice," Emily Tegerdine agreed.
This goal developed fairly recently. Madelyn Tegerdine, a right side hitter, first played volleyball competitively in ninth grade, and Emily Tegerdine, a defensive specialist, followed the next year. The girls wanted to play sports but didn't immediately see their volleyball involvement as seriously as they do now.
"This was just going to be one of those fun tryout things," Madelyn Tegerdine said of her original outlook. "It was kind of a spur of the moment thing."
"I had watched her play for a year," Emily Tegerdine said. "She talked me into it, convinced me to play."
Their mother, Marianne Tegerdine, didn't expect Emily to join her sister. "I thought she'd (Emily) want to play soccer," she said. She said, however, that Madelyn and Emily Tegerdine have frequently shared activities in the past.
"Emily was very interested when Madelyn played (volleyball)," Marianne Tegerdine said. "I think she kind of fell in love with the sport."
Once Emily Tegerdine made the team, the sisters had to adjust to being teammates and family at the same time. While the junior varsity and varsity teams have separate games, they run and have team discussions together at practices. Emily Tegerdine feels this provides the girls an opportunity.
"After practice, we can tell each other about it. We know we can trust each other completely," she said.
The Tegerdines said the Purple and Gold preseason scrimmage was the only time they have faced each other on the volleyball court. Facing her younger sister provided a new challenge for Madelyn.
"I didn't want to hit the ball to her side," Madelyn Tegerdine said. "I didn't like tryin' to beat her." Madelyn admitted that one difficulty she's experienced is knowing when to give input regarding Emily's skills and when to hold back, since Emily has expressed frustration with Madelyn's critique.
"I like... someone telling me, 'You're doing this wrong, you need to do this,'" Madelyn Tegerdine said. "But then I try to do that for her and she gets mad at me. So I had to refrain from that, and that's hard."
Emily Tegerdine said she wants to learn for herself. "When it's actually Coach, I understand," she said. Still, her older sister's intent isn't lost. "I appreciate that she cares enough to want to help."
The girls say playing different positions helps keep people from wanting to compare them, and they seem glad about that.
Madelyn Tegerdine said they sense a challenge to live up to their older brothers. Travis Tegerdine, a 2005 Hickman graduate, and Brent Tegerdine, a 2007 graduate, played soccer for the Kewpies. The girls describe their brothers as "straight A's" students and "All-Stars" and want to live up to those standards themselves.
"We do a good job at it, though," Emily Tegerdine said.
Marianne Tegerdine said that with her sons having two years between them, they didn't get a chance to regularly play together for the Kewpies. "That would be great (if Madelyn and Emily did)," she said. "I'd love to see them both play together." She feels the girls would "complement each other" with the different skills they possess.
While they play on separate teams, Madelyn and Emily Tegerdine get a chance to watch each other from the sidelines. It gives them a chance to not only cheer each other on but also learn.
"I get to watch her (Emily) improve," Madelyn Tegerdine said. "She has really good passes. It kind of gives me a reference."
Shesaid watching her sister makes her nervous sometimes, too. Madelyn Tegerdine will notice something in a game that she hopes Emily Tegerdine also sees, since they can't communicate at that moment. When Emily Tegerdine makes a good play, Madelyn Tegerdine enjoys wondering, "How'd she just dig that ball? How'd she just do that?"
Emily Tegerdine talks more about the support aspect. "Even if she claims she can't hear me, I like screaming for her from the sidelines. It's something I enjoy. She'll have some awesome hit, I like to think it helps to encourage her."
Coach Greg Gunn notices that support. "They laugh and joke (with each other). They get along really well," he said. He said both Madelyn and Emily Tegerdine do a good job helping the other think positive.
While next year will be the last chance for Madelyn and Emily Tegerdine to play on the same high school team, each has already benefited from having her counterpart on the team.
"(From the start) I kind of liked havin' little sis' around," Madelyn Tegerdine said. "I try to give her advice (about) how to look at things."
"She (Madelyn) kind of told me what to expect... with tryouts (and) what Coach is like," Emily Tegerdine said. "It wasn't clear who would make it or not. That probably made her a little nervous. It was a little easier for me to transition because of her."