Freshman volleyball player faces twin on rival team

By Bianca Mena

On Thursday Nov. 13, the Dominican women’s volleyball team played against Carthage College. It was an away game for Dominican but a family reunion for one of the players.

Alex Kisten, a freshman on the Dominican women’s volleyball team, has a twin sister, Rachael, who plays on the women’s volleyball team at Carthage College.

Alex said, “My sister and I started playing volleyball in seventh grade because my mom used to play volleyball.” When Alex entered high school, she became a part of the Sky High Sports Club, a student organization that focused on enhancing her abilities and interest to play sports. Alex said she and her sister were on the same team for three years at the club. Alex said: “One year, when we were not on the same team, we got to play against each other and we got to block each other. It was great because we were on opposite sides.”

Alex said being on rival teams is not a problem for her and Rachael, “I found it easier to be on different teams because we are both very picky of each other and we really want each other to do better so I think the competition is always helping us.”

After years of being close and playing at the sports club together, the sisters decided it was best to go their separate ways. “We wanted to break off,” Alex said. “We had the same friends, we did everything together. We wanted to be more individuals so we decided to go to different colleges.”

This did not turn out to be an easy task for the twins. Aled said: “It was hard because the longest time we have ever been away from each other was for three days before college but we both wanted our own college experience.”

Alex committed to play at Dominican after “falling in love” with the campus and receiving an email from former volleyball coach Ryan Baumgartner asking her to consider playing as a part of Dominican. Rachael decided to attend Carthage College after receiving a scholarship that would pay up to 75 percent of her tuition.

After not seeing each other for months, the day of the tournament between Dominican and Carthage College arrived but the twins were not reunited until the match started. Alex said: I wasn’t really supposed to talk to her. Because we were on different teams and we were playing against each other, we weren’t suppose to really talk to each other until the game.”

The Kisten parents were also present during the tournament. Alex said they called themselves “mutual Switzerland” and sat directly in the middle of the stands. After Carthage College won the match 3-0, Alex was finally able to catch up with her sister. “We were able to talk for about an hour and it was great. We look forward to seeing [Carthage College] next year,” Alex said. “I will be hoping to get more playing time next year and we will hopefully play against each other. It will be fun.”

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