Fontbonne volleyball led by Shea twins

Meghan, left, and twin Caroline Shea are pushing Fontbonne to new heights. (Photo courtesy of Karen Shea)
Meghan, left, and twin Caroline Shea are pushing Fontbonne to new heights. (Photo courtesy of Karen Shea)

There’s nothing like sisterly love, but Caroline and Meghan Shea can tell you firsthand, it can be rough.

From the morning routine of deciding who will drive to school, the two are together constantly, and when it comes to sports, they cannot be more competitive. The Shea sisters are a rarity for the Fontbonne volleyball squad, since they are also twins.

Caroline is the Ducks’ power hitter, and setting her up is Meghan, who is a first-year setter. Caroline is second on the team in kills with 55, and Meghan has 12 assists.

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“Caroline is my strongest hitter on the team, and a leader as well. She has the arm span and jumps the highest,” said coach Kathleen McCarthy, who is in her second season.

Meghan’s work ethic and leadership earned her the position of setter, after originally being an outside hitter.

“[Meghan is] always hustling and has this intensity and competitiveness that you can’t teach. She has it,” said McCarthy.

The combination has proven to be lethal for the Ducks (7-2), who were 7-10 last season and now stand just two games shy of clinching a spot in the state tournament.

In addition to experience playing with the Mass Patriots Volleyball Club, Meghan has Caroline to push her.

“When I go to practice, I put my game face on, and if we make a mistake we let the other know,” said Caroline.

“It gets really stressful when we’re partners [during practice drills] and we yell at each other. It’s hard to remember that it’s your teammate and not your sister,” said Meghan.

McCarthy noticed the “family feel” the Sheas have, not only on the court but in the stands, with mother Karen, a Fontbonne alum, constantly supporting the girls.

“Sometimes it can be really irritating having someone always there, but it’s nice to know someone’s always there,” said Caroline. “You never have to worry about being alone. Some people don’t get that.”

Both girls embody the program. “I can kill them in a practice and they say ‘thank you’ going out the door,” said McCarthy.

Meghan realizes how heated her relationship with her sister can get on the court, but appreciates the closeness she has with Caroline “because after high school, everything changes and you don’t see each other,” she said.

And although they appear to be mirror images, Caroline and Meghan say they are polar opposites.

Caroline, who is vocal and outgoing, has an artistic side and excels in math, which explains her interest in architecture and interior design. Meghan is more introverted and is interested in medicine, with the hopes of becoming a nurse.

When it comes to decision-making, Meghan said, “I think about everything a lot more and play the options through. [Caroline] plays with her heart.”

Meghan noted being a twin can be a double-edged sword.

“Being a twin is good and bad at the same time,” Meghan. “There’s competition of who’s going to do better because there are no separation in years. But at the end of the day, we appreciate we have a rare situation.”

Games of the week

No. 16 North Attleboro at No. 1 Barnstable, Fri., 4 p.m. — All eyes will be on Sydney Bennett, who leads the Rocketeers with 91 kills. The Red Raiders’ Regan Bristol is close behind with 84 kills, plus a 91.9 serving percentage. The Red Raiders have lost only two games and are undefeated in eight matches.

No. 4 Andover at No. 8 North Andover, Fri., 5 p.m. — The Golden Warriors are on a 10-game undefeated streak, including a 3-2 season-opening victory against the Scarlet Knights. The Golden Warriors will need Elizabeth Wait, who leads the team in blocks (44) and kills (82), to set the tone.

No. 6 Canton at No. 17 Notre Dame of Hingham, Fri., 5:30 p.m. — The Bulldogs are undefeated in 10 matches, having not lost a game in their last four.

No. 20 Chelmsford at No. 19 Central Catholic, Fri., 6 p.m. — Despite the Raiders having a better record against common opponents (5-1), the Lions were able to snatch a 3-1 victory in the first meeting. This result will bump the loser out of the rankings.