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Swan Valley Volleyball team redefines "family"

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Swan Valley volleyball is like a family, literally. Senior defensive specialist Riley McIntyre is the big sister to Hallie, a Junior outside hitter. And then, Claire Bierlein, Sophomore setter, and Senior hitter Emma are also sisters. All four Vikings sisters, are also cousins.

"I like it, it's fun," the family agreed. "Sometimes we bicker a little bit."

But, as all siblings do though.

"I can see it sometimes, for sisters, I'm like 'oh okay they don't want to talk to each other,'" said Vikings head coach Kristin Palmer.

"Constructive criticism," said Riley. "But it's better because it's coming from your family."

Palmer says their bond as a family adds to the chemistry of the entire team.

"Just because they're family doesn't mean that they only talk to each other," said Palmer. "They talk to everybody, everybody on the team is friends and they do work really well together."

"Sometimes you have those people who like to fight, but we don't really have people like that," said Claire. "We just like to get together and have fun."

"I feel like we don't single ourselves out either," said Hallie. "It's not just us four, like we're close, but we're also close with the rest of the team too so I think that helps."

This is the only year that all four family members will be playing alongside each other.

"This is the first and the last," said Hallie. "So we really need to take advantage of that and make it special."

They said they know this is a special year, but they might not truly realize it just yet.

"Looking back, I think we're going to be like 'wow that was really cool that we got to be on the same team' especially for our last year," said Emma.

Not only are the Vikings back-to-back conference champions, but they're also going for their fifth straight district title this season. They have 17 wins this year and face Standish-Sterling on Wednesday night.

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