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Cobert, Rus siblings key to Cardinals success

Family union

Peyton (left) and Paige Rus and Rachel and Courtney Cobert form the core of an Erie team that has advanced to the 1A Polo Sectional. The Cardinals play Stockton today in Polo.
Peyton (left) and Paige Rus and Rachel and Courtney Cobert form the core of an Erie team that has advanced to the 1A Polo Sectional. The Cardinals play Stockton today in Polo.

The Cobert and Rus sisters have visions of an all-sister relay at the state track meet next spring. For now, however, the sisters have a more timely concern – making their volleyball season last as long as possible.

The Coberts, junior Courtney and freshman Rachel, and the Ruses, senior Paige and freshman Peyton, are four of the six starters for Erie, which won its first regional championship since 2008 and just its second since 1987 last week.

The Cardinals (26-9) will meet Stockton (29-4) in a Class 1A Polo Sectional semifinal tonight at 7 p.m.

The Ruses have never played on the same team before.

"This is the first time, and this will be the last too, since I'm a senior" said Paige Rus, a 5-foot-9 middle hitter, who has a team-high 66 blocks and is second to her sister with 197 kills. "It's bittersweet."

Paige has enjoyed watching her sister flourish.

"She has surprised me," Paige said. "It makes me jealous. I wish I could go back and start as young as she did and had an older sister to help me."

Peyton, who has a team-high 210 kills, looks up to her sister.

"It's always been my dream to be just like her, so getting to play with her is really nice," said Peyton, a 5-8 outside hitter. "It helps that we're sisters because you kind of communicate better. You're not afraid to tell them to pick it up. Sometimes I yell at Paige, like 'Let's go.' You might not do that to other people."

Courtney Cobert, a 5-6 libero who has a team-high 207 digs, has been able to help her sister in more than merely a sisterly way.

"When I was a freshman and sophomore I played her position [middle hitter], but I'm not very tall so it didn't work as well," she said. "So, I can encourage her and tell her what she needs to fix, because I know what to do. She looks up to me for that."

The 5-9 Rachel Cobert is fourth on the team with 136 kills. She said the family dynamic has been interesting.

"It brings a certain closeness to the team," she said. "It's challenging at times, because sometimes you just don't like your siblings. But, it made me feel secure to have my sister on the team with me. To experience this with her makes me feel good."

Second-year coach Alicia Murphy has enjoyed the sister act.

"Obviously, they know each other better than everybody else," she said. "They read each other even more so than your typical teammates do. And, the rest of the girls have fallen right into line with them."

While the Coberts and Ruses plan on being together on the basketball court and track in the upcoming seasons, volleyball is the sole focus right now.

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Polo High School

Twitter: Follow Ty Reynolds (@STyReynolds) for live updates

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