‘Sisters’ bond beyond court


Meredith Ringer

LAUGH OUT LOUD. JV defensive specialist Meredith Ringer and Varsity defensive specialist Anna Helker often hang out outside of volleyball practice. Helker is Ringer’s big sister again. Though the girls are two grade levels apart, they are now best friends. “As an underclassmen, I love having a ‘big sis’ to look up to. If you have a question, they’re there, not only on the court but throughout the school day,” Ringer said. Photo by Meredith Ringer.

Deeply entrenched in the SHS girls’ volleyball program is the tradition of having a big sister or little sister. Each year, the girls on the Varsity team and a few on the JV team are assigned a little sister; the freshmen, in accordance, get paired up with a big sister.

The purpose of the program is to promote team bonding, where the younger players can gain valuable insight from older, more experienced players. However, the players often create bonds that reach beyond strictly volleyball skills.

“It’s such a good way to bond with people in different grade levels, especially if your personalities click. I met my best friend though the big sister, little sister thing,” said Meredith Ringer, defensive specialist on JV, 10.

Players follow a schedule that specifies when they need to do something for their sister, ranging from making a poster to matching school outfits.

“I really like how they do big sisters/little sisters this year. Last year, it was just candy and stuff that we had to go out and buy,” said Emma Stemen, setter on JV, 10.

In the past, the volleyball program used to implement “Family Fridays,” in which players from the freshman, JV, and Varsity teams are randomly assigned to teams to play games and do volleyball-related activities together. This year, Family Fridays were replaced by other activities to promote team bonding.

“One time we went to Houdini’s Escape room, and another time we just played some old-fashioned gym games like the human knot. The coaches once had set up a scavenger hunt around the school, which was pretty cool,” said Madeline Hampson, outside hitter on both JV and Varsity, 11.