Sister Act: Part II
BY DERONE McNEILL
It's fairly common for siblings who are close in age to play on the same sports teams in rec leagues throughout elementary school. This sometimes carries over into middle school and, in fewer instances, to the high school level.
But how often do all the stars align so that two sisters have the chance to play competitive volleyball at the same college?
Teresa and Kevin Williams are about to witness what most parents with siblings close in age can only dream about. The parents of Kara and Emily Williams were elated to learn that they would again get to watch their daughters wear the same sports uniform yet again.
The Williams sisters are both wearing Catawba Valley Community College colors as they suit up for the Red Hawks this fall.
Graduates of North Iredell High, Kara and Emily are thrilled to be teaming up together again.
After graduating from North Iredell in 2016, Kara attended Guilford College. "Guilford was a good school," she said. "I made many friends, but it just didn't feel like the right place for me to go for four years. It was hard leaving friends, and knowing I was on the team and couldn't play anymore was hard. But I knew deep down it was the best decision for me and my family."
Emily, a 2017 graduate of North Iredell, had her sights set on CVCC upon graduation. With over 250 wins, two national appearances and a conference championship or two, Coach Shannon Hudson has built a very nice program.
But how did the sisters both end up there?
"This all came about very unexpectedly," Teresa explained. "Earlier this summer, I was having serious doubts about sending Kara back to Guilford, mainly because of the financial burden it was going to put on us, as well as Kara. Kevin and I discussed it and really sensed that this is not what God wanted for us or Kara. Needless to say, after we expressed our thoughts and made the decision not to send her back to Guilford, which broke my heart to have to do, she was not very happy with us."
"Trusting that this was God's plan, Kara enrolled at Mitchell Community College and God sweetened the deal as she was offered the JV head coach position for the Statesville Christian School volleyball team all on the same day!" Teresa added. "She wasn't even looking for a job! But if you can't play, why not coach, right?"
Kara ended up as the assistant coach at SCS because her class times interfered with away game days.
Then, after a Saturday of watching Emily and her team scrimmage five other colleges at CVCC, one of the assistant coaches, who had seen Kara play before, asked her if she would like to play with her sister.
"At first, Kara thought he was kidding, but he was serious -- and that was it!" Teresa said, attributing the turn of events to divine providence.
"He's an on-time God!" Teresa said. "Sharing this story and being a witness to God's blessings is an example of how God will lay everything out there for us if we will just obey and trust Him."
Emily remembers the joy of playing with her sister and is looking forward to the coming season.
"I was excited that she was given the opportunity to play. I remember her Senior Night at North. I was not only upset that she was going to be leaving for college, but it hit me that we would never play volleyball together again after playing together since we both learned the game," she said. "Now, knowing we'll get to play together again has me super excited."
Coach Hudson is just as pumped up.
"I'm so excited to have Kara joining her sister Emily to be a part of the Red Hawks volleyball program this fall," she said. "We actually recruited Kara several years ago, but she decided to pursue a different path, so when we found out that she was back in the area and wanted to come on board, we were thrilled."
Emily leads the CVCC defense in the libero role, and she is the backbone of the Red Hawks' serve-receive team.
"Her court awareness and quick response make her an invaluable asset to our backcourt," Hudson said. "I'm looking for Kara to play a similar role on our team as a defensive specialist. She is comfortable in the middle back position, so she will be able to contribute immediately in that capacity."
In the eight previous seasons at CVCC, Hudson has never had sisters playing together. "I have two younger sisters, who I grew playing ball with, so I understand the dynamic pretty well and I'm optimistic that this is going to be a great experience for Kara and Emily and for the entire Red Hawks program," she said.
I'm pretty sure the CVCC campus will be buzzing this fall with the college's version of Venus and Serena stepping on the volleyball court. There's lots to be said for the last name Williams.
Good luck to the Red Hawks this season. Statesville is proud to have both Emily and Kara representing their home town.
Derone McNeill is a writer for SVLfreenews.com.