Serving up sisterhood: Twin athletes enter final year at Chimacum High

Stephanie Davey The Leader
Posted 9/6/16

Soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball. Repeat, for eight years straight.

Try balancing that with schoolwork and a teenage social life. The Nisbet twins have accomplished exactly that.

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Serving up sisterhood: Twin athletes enter final year at Chimacum High

Posted

Soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball. Repeat, for eight years straight.

Try balancing that with schoolwork and a teenage social life. The Nisbet twins have accomplished exactly that.

This week, Chimacum-area natives Mechelle and Shanya Nisbet enter their senior year at Chimacum High School. They've been athletes since kindergarten.

“We've played basketball and softball nonstop for those 13 years,” Mechelle said.

The pair begin this school year by playing volleyball, which is new for Mechelle. She's played soccer during fall for the past three years, she said.

Shanya, on the other hand, has been on the volleyball team since her sophomore year. She began high school playing soccer with Mechelle, but injured her knee during their first game, which kept her out that season, Shanya said. During middle school, the sisters played volleyball and soccer together each fall.

Not having Shanya on the same playing surface during the past three years was strange, Mechelle said.

“It was different not seeing your sister right next to you, on the field with you,” Mechelle said. “You kind of separate from each other and kind of do your own thing.”

When the sisters are on the field together, they use the fact that they're twins to their team’s advantage.

Sometimes, it's a mental thing; the pair can look at each other across the court and know which move to make to pass to one another. At other times, their physical features confuse the opposite team.

“Some girls are like, 'Wait, I think I just saw you,' or like, if we're in basketball or something and they're guarding us, they'll get tricked out,” Shanya said.

After volleyball ends, the twins play basketball during winter, and then fast-pitch softball in spring. This summer was the first break from sports they've taken in eight years. Usually, they also play summer softball, Shanya noted.

The twins' parents, who met at Chimacum High School, introduced the pair to T-ball and basketball as children. Mechelle and Shanya are glad for that introduction, now that they're older.

“At first, Mechelle and I, when we were little, we didn't like being on the same team,” Shanya said.

“I don't remember that,” Mechelle replied.

Coaches would split them up during practice, and the two would get competitive toward each other. That's the part the twins didn't like, Shanya clarified.

Mechelle and Shanya agree they can still be competitive, but in a way that makes them better players.

“We help each other practice and get better, and put our opinion in on what you need to work on,” Shanya said. “We want to make each other the best we can be.”

Sometimes the sisters offend each other in the process, Shanya said.

But, later, they realize the opinions are coming from a helpful place, and ask for advice to improve their game, Mechelle said.

Among the twins' favorite things about playing sports are the friendships they've made, and they agree that all their friends are shared between them.

One of those friends is Taylor Carthum, who is also a senior at Chimacum. Carthum has known Shanya and Mechelle for about 10 years, and met them in East Jefferson Little League softball, Carthum said.

“They're really motivational, they always keep everybody's energy up and they're always really dedicated,” Carthum said. “If you're looking for the people who will go their 100 percent, like all the time, that's pretty much them.”

Carthum plays volleyball with the twins, and the three of them are the only seniors on the team. Mechelle and Shanya take all of the same classes, and Carthum is in most of them. They are also on the fastpitch team together.

The twins don't see much of a difference in their personalities, but people around them can.

“I think they're very different, just after knowing them for a while,” Carthum said. “I feel like Shanya is getting more easy to be outgoing, and Mechelle takes a little bit longer, but once you get her there, she's also super outgoing.”

When the twins aren't on the court or studying, they like to hang out with friends, and spent time swimming this summer, Mechelle said.

Neither of them have jobs at the moment, but Shanya did work for the first time this summer, and Mechelle helped babysit her cousin. School activities take up most of their time.

“Sports is kind of really all we do,” Shanya said.

The sisters are planning to go to college, and hope to continue playing softball there. Since it's just the beginning of their senior year (they turn 18 at the end of September), they aren't sure where they want to go to college.

They want to go together, though, and would like to stay in or near Washington.

Mechelle has enjoyed the past three years because of sports, she said. The twins' senior year is bittersweet, because they don't want to stop playing like they're used to.

“It's been a fun ride,” Shanya said.

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