Sister Connection: Conner sisters grateful to share court together

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:55 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Conner sisters have shared the court at Washburn for the past two seasons.

Shayla is an assistant coach and former All-American with the ‘Bods while Sydney is a sophomore. The family connection runs deep and their relationship has grown.

“It makes the high’s really high and the lows really low and you feel things a little deeper and I’ve really enjoyed the experience with my sister,” Shayla said.

They say they haven’t had to adjust to the family connection as their mom Kris is a high school volleyball coach in Nebraska where she was honored when the Huskers had over 90,000 fans earlier this season.

“Growing up, volleyball has always been a huge part of my life, I grew up watching her (Shayla) and it’s always been nice to connect about it and you come home and talk about it but for the most part it’s been super positive and a really great experience to bond over that,” Sydney said.

“Anytime you’re a setter, it’s like the quarterback right and it’s tough when you have to learn a lot and it’s been nice with our relationship because I can talk to her easily and honestly,” Shayla said.

While they may dig out some things, Sydney loves having Shayla through her journey.

“We’re 8 years apart so she’s always been my role model growing up and so coming here and being able to get constant feedback from her and being coached by her has been really fun,” Sydney said.

Having fun, and being competitive, Shayla says relationships are the most important thing.

“You’re going to remember the memories you make on the court and the away trips on the bus and we want to be invited to the weddings and we want to keep in touch afterwards when it’s all over,” Shayla said.

Shayla was the female athlete of the year in 2018 as a setter for the ‘Bods and coached at several locations before coming back to Topeka. Oddly enough, Sydney plays the same position.

“I basically look to her for guidance when it comes to that sort of stuff but it’s been a pretty easy transition,” Sydney said.

Sydney says she knew she could be coached by her sister at some point, keeping the balance between a coach and sisters. Head coach Chris Herron says their pacifier was a volleyball.

“She has these girls all rowing the boat in the same direction and that’s where I see the biggest growth in her, with Sydney it’s just the understanding of the conference, the region, the nation,” Herron said.

After Sydney was originally committed to Missouri Western, she followed her sister to Washburn

they know the time is flying by... but they have plenty more to serve up

“I hope to get a stronger relationship with her out of this and keep growing the awesome one we already have,” Shayla said.

“The main focus why I came here was because she was a great added bonus and I wanted to be a better volleyball player and wanted to come to a winning program and I think Shay really adds to that factor,” Sydney said.

They say the best memory so far is winning that conference championship and they’ll continue to write new stories and grow together as Ichabods.