COLUMBIA — The three little fans line up in the stands, hands on the railing, looking down at the Missouri volleyball team winning yet another game in October.
Barron and Laura Roth, their parents, are both long-time athletes.
Their dad graduated from MU, and their parents played co-ed volleyball together when they started dating in 2005. Around the same time, they started going to Missouri volleyball games. They enjoy football and men's basketball, too, but now that they're parents, they can't bring the triple stroller to those games.
So they bring their three babies, who just turned 1, to nearly every home Missouri volleyball match.
The Roth triplets have missed just one home match.
Laura Roth was not expecting to hear what she and her husband would have.
"We had done in vitro, so we were gonna have two babies, one baby, or no babies," she said. "The possibility of three babies hadn't entered our minds."
But God gave them exactly what they could handle, Barron Roth said. The couple found out they would be parents to identical twins plus a fraternal sibling.
The pregnancy, already wearing on Laura Roth with constant throwing up from Week 5 through delivery, wasn't what she expected.
“I was sick, I didn't feel good, and I was scared,” she said.
By the time the triplets were scheduled to arrive, her belly was so big that it hurt to breathe and talk.
“It wasn't a joyous thing at first,” Laura Roth said of the prospect of having triplets. “Now it is.”
Now, with her three 1-year olds dancing and smiling down at the court as the Tigers beat yet another team in their current 29-match winning streak, she couldn't imagine just one — so much so that she felt naked at a recent wedding while family held the babies and she didn't have one on each hip.
She and her husband brought them to Missouri softball games in the spring and attempted to go to the first volleyball match in the fall. They were stopped at the door and told they could not bring the stroller in. But the two of them couldn't carry three babies the whole time, and they stood by the door, worried they wouldn't be able to go to any matches.
But the usher saw it was a unique situation. Soon, Krissy Ellis, Missouri associate director of event management, sanctioned the triple stroller. Another usher, Ken, showed the Roths to an area they could park the stroller during the matches. Now, Ken and Ellis come by every game to say hello to "the dancing triplets."
The trio do love to dance.
Thanks to the music and bright lights and cheerleaders and band and constant action on the court, they're avid fans of Missouri volleyball — at least as much as 1-year olds can be expected to be. Ainsley, the lone girl of the trio, snoozed at a recent match against Kentucky, while her brothers Graham and Beckett drooled and tried to crawl away.
But the three love Hearnes Center on game day.
Supervising editor is Erik Hall.