3 sets of sisters help bolster lineup for Apollo-Ridge girls volleyball

Thursday, September 9, 2021 | 10:01 AM

The Apollo-Ridge girls volleyball team will be a sister act this fall.

Three sets of sisters — Brinley and Kylar Toland, Isabel and Cheryl Gerheim and Morghan and Maeggie Wysocki — are on the team, giving a unique twist to a squad that ended a 10-year playoff drought a season ago.

“Brinley and Isabel are two of my closest friends, so we always talked about our sisters moving up and how cool it would be to play with them,” Morghan Wysocki said. “It’s pretty neat that we’re all here together.”

The sibling connection doesn’t stop with the trio of sister sets. Even the coaches, Laura Daub and her assistant, Josh Gartley, are sister and brother. They are in their third season coaching the Vikings.

The sisters and the rest of the team have come together to become one big family on the court.

“I don’t think it’s all that weird to us, because we’re all such good friends with each other,” Cheryl Gerheim said of having three sets of sisters on the same team. “Overall, though, when you think about it, it’s pretty neat.”

All six girls in the sister sets are underclassmen.

Brinley Toland, Morghan Wysocki and Isabel Gerheim are juniors. Cheryl Gerheim is a sophomore. Kylar Toland and Maeggie Wysocki are freshmen. Brinley and Morghan are outside hitters. Kylar and Cheryl are setters and opposite hitters. Isabel and Maeggie are liberos.

Brinley said she didn’t have to do much to help Kylar get ready for varsity play.

They grew up playing sports together, so they had to learn early on how to get along. Sometimes their competitive nature still comes out.

“We don’t necessarily agree with each other all the time on the volleyball court, but we get along pretty well,” Brinley said. “Kylar has always been pretty good, and my mom always jokes that she is going to be better than me. I do give her a hard time and embarrass her sometimes. She was a little worried about coming up to varsity, but she’s doing well.”

There’s also some competitiveness between the Gerheim sisters.

“It’s nice to have a sister on the team, because when you go home you always have someone to practice with, but sometimes we get mad at each other and that doesn’t help us at all,” Isabel said.

“When we’re on the court and we call the same ball and neither backs off of it we will get mad at each other, but we shake it off pretty fast because we get along pretty well.”

The Wysockis bowed out of the most competitive sisters battle. They are a little more reserved off the court but bring intensity when they are on it.

Morghan likes helping her younger sister, Maeggie, with her game at home.

“I didn’t really say too much to her about the move up to varsity, but I just worked with her on different skills to get ready,” Morghan said.

The Vikings nearly pulled a first-round upset, losing in five sets to eventual semifinalist Beaver County Christian. They are ready to build on last year’s success.

“Hopefully, we can make it back to the playoffs this year,” Isabel said. “I believe if we try really hard we will make it back. We’d also like to make a little further after the way it ended last year.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer


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