Swenson twins continue Hopkins Volleyball dynasty
September 24, 2019
Stella and Olivia Swenson, 8th graders at North Junior High, were born to play volleyball and have for most of their lives.
The twins grew up with a family of volleyball players who they continue to look up to today. Including their older sister and the former setter for the University of Minnesota, Samantha Seliger Swenson.
“Being in a family with a lot of volleyball players has made me a more competitive person,” Stella said. “I have to work a lot harder and it has given me a drive to keep improving.”
Olivia and Stella were both starters on varsity last year as 7th graders and again this year. With Stella being the all-around setter and Olivia an outside hitter. Volleyball is a game of bonding and connections. Although they are young, they did not have an issue bonding with the team.
Before every game, the girls have a tradition of doing something they call the “Pump It Up”. They all gather in a circle and chant “pump it up say what!” It is their way of getting pumped up for the game and giving them a better chance at success.
Practice is also an important part of helping the team succeed. The girls practice their passing and serving every day because these are the skills that are most important, according to Vicki Seliger Swenson, the girls volleyball coach. The team is always dedicated to improve as much as possible during every practice.
The Swenson’s are so dedicated that in their new house, they are building a gym. Not only will it be used to help Stella and Olivia improve their skills, but it will also train younger and newer volleyball players into the sport.
The twins are in a unique situation because the HHS Volleyball coach just happens to be their mom. Vicki has been a coach for the girls’ volleyball team for a very long time. In that time period, she has coached four members of her family including Olivia and Stella.
“It is stressful to have my mom as my coach because I am around her all of the time, but she is also very helpful and it can be fun at times,” Olivia said. “It’s the same with my sister, when we get in arguments it’s hard to keep it off of the court, but we always figure it out and have fun.”
The Swenson’s have given a lot of their lives to volleyball. They have brought a lot of dedication, competitiveness, and athleticism to the sport and to HHS. They will continue to do this through their remaining four years at the varsity level.