Volleyball in the Blood

Franklin Yi

What do Ashley and Vanessa Murray have in common with the NFL ‘s, Peyton and Eli Manning or tennis’s Venus and Serena Williams?

They are all siblings who play in the same sport.

The only difference is that the Murray sisters play on the same team: the Pierce College Women’s Volleyball team.

Ashley Murray (5’9″), 20, is the older of the two. She graduated from Grant High and came to Pierce College to play outside hitter for the Brahmas.

Vanessa (6’0″) is younger than Ashley by two years. She also graduated from Grant and came to play outside hitter for the Brahmas.

A couple more things they have in common are they both hate the Los Angeles Lakers and they both wear a size 10. Other than that they seem to have nothing in common.

Ashley describes herself as the dominant of the two sisters.

She is tough, confident and is very focused in life. She is a Philadelphia Sixers fan, and is majoring in journalism. She wants to go to Louisiana State University to get her degree in journalism.

Both sisters described Vanessa as the nice sister, a Miami Heat fan who majoring in history/kinesiology.

Vanessa would like to go to the University of Hawaii to get her degree in history or kinesiology.

The sisters find it amusing that they are nothing alike.

“I like to study health and history and she likes to write,” said Vanessa.

“She likes to run on the track, that’s something I will never do,” said Ashley

The Murray sisters have volleyball in their blood. Their mother and older brother both played volleyball when they were younger.

“We have a very athletic family,” said Ashley.

“I think it’s great that we have two sisters on this team,” said Nabil Mardini, coach of the volleyball team.

The sisters first started playing together on the same team in high school.

Ashley was the first to play volleyball then Vanessa came and they were both on the women’s varsity volleyball team.

They won the varsity league championship together at Grant. They also played on the women’s basketball team and started the first volleyball club at their high school.

When Ashley first joined the Brahmas, she had to red shirt for the team.

To red shirt for the team meant that she was allowed to practice with the team, but would have to wait her turn to get playing time.

“It’s sort of like they are training you,” said Ashley.

Ashley, in her college career, has won most improved player and is a state statistical leader along with fellow teammates Jenna Novelli and Kristin Gorman in kill percentage.

She hits the ball with such force that it looks like it’s going to explode every time she hits it.

Vanessa in her junior and senior years of high school went on to win MVP, most improved player, most inspirational, and player of the year.

Not bad for a person that is currently red shirting for the Brahmas.

“They are both awesome players,” said Mardini.

Even though they both claim to be completely different from each other doesn’t mean they don’t like each other. They both have family values and when they’re not practicing in the gym together they are out hanging out together. They are both open and are very understanding with one another.

“Just because we are nothing alike doesn’t mean we are not close,” said Vanessa.

“We are both very big on family values,” said Ashley

Sisters and teamates Ashley and Vanessa Murray. (Amit Sharabi)