Besides looking like twins, playing the same sports, and being best friends, two Langley sisters have an undeniable passion in life - playing volleyball. And their dream is to one day play volleyball together on the same team at university or for Team Canada.
Lauren and Nicole Chevrier have played soccer in Langley since they were five years old, and then got involved in basketball at their high school.
But it was when they picked up a volleyball that they knew they had found their sport, and something they could share together and hopefully take with them into university and beyond.
While some players start playing volleyball as young as Grade 4, the sisters were too involved in soccer and basketball, and started later than most.
Then they heard about club tryouts, so they practised in their yard with their parents, went to the tryouts, and made teams.
After only playing club for two and three years respectively, and overcoming some personal and injury-related adversity, both girls are now being recognized as top level players in their age brackets, not only from their coaches and club, RainCity Volleyball Club, but also from their peers, other club coaches, university coaches, and Volleyball BC.
"They seemed to really like playing volleyball, so as parents we told them we're committed to their success and enjoyment of the game, and then they asked if we could make them a volleyball court in the backyard," recalled their dad Peter. "We quickly realized they weren't joking and that's when we knew they absolutely loved the game and wanted to be the best volleyball players they could be - so we made them a grass court and they train together on it often."
During the 2013 competitive club volleyball season, Lauren led her RainCity U14 team to
bronze medals in their respective divisions at both the B.C. provincial championships and at the Canadian nationals.
She was also presented with the Team MVP of the Year award. Not quite 14 years old yet, Lauren already stands almost 5' 8" on the court.
While she isn't as tall as her older sister she can already do overhand jump serves, block high, and hit hard, and credits her advanced development to her best friend and big sister Nicole.
"I had a good club season and was proud to be given the MVP award for my team, and thank my coaches, my parents, and especially my sister for helping me get better," Lauren noted.
Nicole, two years older, more experienced, and taller, standing more than 6'2" on the court, also had a successful 2013 volleyball season that saw her RainCity U16 team finish fourth overall out of 52 teams at the B.C. provincial championships with Nicole earning one of the six coveted championship all-star player awards out of the 625 players involved.
Her team went on to earn recognition as a top volleyball team in Canada after they finished fifth overall out of 104 teams in the Canadian Nationals in Calgary, earning Nicole accolades for her strong play from teammates and coaches, and garnering attention from other teams, coaches, and university scouts.
Nicole's first elite-level volleyball opportunity came last summer when she earned a spot on the 2012 BC Summer Games team representing the Fraser Valley region at the U15 level.
She was also invited to play on the U17 beach volleyball summer games team but chose to play indoor volleyball with girls her own age, where her team went on to earn the silver medal at the games.
This July Nicole was selected for the Baden Cup training program and then the elite Team BC U16 provincial team out of hundreds of players from across the province.
The Team BC Provincial team trained at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops for three weeks before heading to Regina to play in the Western Elites, a tournament of elite provincial volleyball teams at the U16 level. The tournament brought together nine teams from the four western provinces in what was also a showcase for university coaches to scout future players.
Nicole's B.C. provincial team won the Western Elites gold medal championship and she was named a tournament all-star for her consistently strong play and the many kills, blocks, and serving aces she had over the course of the tournament.
"I've been fortunate to play with fantastic players, receive quality training from great coaches, and to have a sister to train with who loves the game as much as I do," said Nicole. "Playing with great players at competitive levels is making me a better player."
In the summer off-season both girls usually play beach volleyball and attend volleyball camps to further build their skills.
They also play on school teams at Brookswood Secondary with Lauren on the Grade 8 team and Nicole playing up on the senior team last year.
Nicole helped the Brookswood senior team to the Fraser Valley regionals and then a berth at the B.C. high school provincials last year, and was named team MVP by her coach and older teammates.
For the coming year, both girls plan to attend elite volleyball training programs and play school and club volleyball again.
"It's just a matter of determining how best to balance all the training and game schedules with their school studies, soccer, volunteering, and other activities they are involved in," their parents commented.
The future looks bright as several university coaches have already connected with Nicole about their university volleyball teams, and Lauren hopes for the same.
When asked about how this makes them feel, they both responded that they are excited about playing at university, and hope to play together one day, but will focus on their short-term goals of getting good grades at high school and further developing their volleyball skills while having fun playing the game they love.
@ Copyright 2013