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Double Trouble For Opposing Volleyball Coaches

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Volleyball is the quintessential team sport. Since a player is only allowed one consecutive touch of the ball, it is critical that all six players on the court are in sync with each other.

When two of those players happen to be twins, this process of building camaraderie seems easier than it is. For Alice and Grace Brandt, playing on the same volleyball team since the fifth grade, their passion for the sport has led them to great heights this year.

“They could play together and not speak to each other,” said coach Lorusso, who led the team to winning the Nassau County Class A Championship this year. “They had an incredible telepathy with each other. Let’s just say their ‘twinning’ really helped out.”

After realizing that she was not going to be tall enough as a hitter, Grace settled on the libero position. Alice has been a setter since the 8th grade. They have always been on the same team, in junior high, on travel teams and in high school. So it came as no surprise when they both decided to sign with Stockton University in New Jersey. Stockton lost this year in the conference semi-finals, ending the team’s streak of eight NJAC championships. It is clear that the Brandt twins will be joining a highly competitive program.

Both girls were drawn to the fact that the team has been very successful and the campus is not too far from home. Grace intends to major in computer science while Alice is considering finance.

Alice and Grace have been on the varsity team at Floral Park Memorial since the tenth grade. During their freshmen year on the junior varsity, the team finished with an undefeated record, not losing one game the entire season. But after falling to Lynbrook in the semi-finals during the past two seasons, the girls were hopeful that senior year would be a repeat of that impressive JV campaign. That is until coach Lorusso found out that the team was moving up in classification, and was now faced with the daunting challenge of beating perennial powerhouse programs like South Side and Wantagh.

“We thought we were staying in the same conference,” said Grace.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” said Alice. “They all have such strong programs.”

After splitting two games with South Side during the season, and getting swept by Wantagh, the Lady Knights earned the third seed in the playoffs. After two easy victories over Hewlett and MacArthur, Floral Park faced South Side in the semis. The girls won a thrilling match in five games.

“After we beat South Side, we were all determined to beat Wantagh,” echoed both Alice and Grace.

And that is exactly what Floral Park did, dethroning Wantagh in another five-set thriller.

Coach LoRusso has high expectations for both girls in college.

‘They were both extremely strong leaders,” said Lorusso. “Grace has an intensity that is unmatched. Alice has a remarkable courtsense. Her ability to see the weakness of her opponents was outstanding.”

Both girls offered compliments for each other, praising each other’s talents and intangibles. It is clear that Stockton head coach Allison Walker is getting two great all-around players next year. Her only challenge may be distinguishing who is who at first.

 

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