Emily Wilson carries on volleyball family tradition at MU

Friday, November 18, 2011 | 8:31 p.m. CST; updated 10:45 p.m. CST, Friday, November 18, 2011
MU freshman outside hitter Emily Wilson goes up for a shot during practice on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011.

COLUMBIA — Emily Wilson wasn't always sure she wanted to follow in her sister's footsteps.

A freshman on the Missouri volleyball team, Emily Wilson is four years younger than her sister, Catie, who played at Missouri for four years, mostly as a middle blocker. After graduating last spring, the older Wilson took an assistant coach position on the Rock Bridge High School volleyball team.


No. 9 Texas (19-4, 12-1 Big 12) at Missouri (20-11, 6-8 Big 12)

WHEN: 7 p.m.

WHERE: Hearnes Center

"Well, when she committed here, at that time, I was in high school and started to get looked at by colleges," Emily Wilson said. "I was like 'I don't want to do what she did. I want to be my own person and do my own thing.'"

Catie Wilson didn't push her sister to attend Missouri, either. She jokes that her sister didn't tell her she committed to Missouri, but that instead her former coaches broke the news.

Emily Wilson has followed in her sister's footsteps before, though. She began YMCA volleyball after seeing her sister play in middle school.

"Once she got started playing volleyball, I was like 'Oh, I want to try,'" Emily Wilson said.

Catie and Emily Wilson didn't fight with one another, aside from wrestling for fun, but sometimes they were competitive. Most of time it was over go-cart races, not volleyball. When the Wilsons made the trip from their hometown of Omaha, Neb., to  visit their cousins in Yankton, S.D., the sisters put on helmets and joined their cousins in family races.

"It was a big free-for-all kind of thing," Catie Wilson said.

Emily Wilson remembers summers they visited their cousins almost every weekend. The races weren't as prominent once Catie Wilson started playing club and high school volleyball.

Maybe Catie Wilson wanted to win more than her sister. Emily Wilson laughed about how her older sister would speed around the corner and tell her she was going to beat her.

"And she always won," Emily Wilson said. 

Trash-talking didn't stop on the race course. After the race was over, Catie Wilson would remind her younger sister who won. Emily Wilson didn't seem too bothered by the losses.

"I would just be like 'Good job, I don't really care,'" she said.

This fits their personalities. Emily Wilson cracks jokes and laughs with her teammates before a volleyball match. Her older sister never did that when she was playing at Missouri.

Priscilla Armendariz, a senior on the MU volleyball team, has played with both sisters. She said Emily Wilson is outgoing, while her older sister is shy.

"Even other people on the team will say 'Oh my gosh, you're so much louder than Catie is,'" Armendariz said.

Some players still joke about how the two of them look the same, though.

"Sometimes, we get their names confused. A lot of times we'll call Emily 'Catie,'"  Armendariz said. "There are times when we'll say 'You look just like Catie doing that or that's something Catie would say.'"

Catie Wilson laughed about how Armendariz, who has known her for three years, calls her Emily sometimes.

Emily Wilson looks most like her sister when she celebrates.

When Catie Wilson was at MU, she had a signature celebration: an exaggerated fist pump.

Her former teammates had a hard time describing just how she did it. But Emily Wilson does it just like her older sister.

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