Family values carry over from the Hagarty household to the Queen’s volleyball court.
Sisters Brett and Katie Hagarty, from Aurora, Ont., are making a big impact on the women’s volleyball team. They’re the second set of sisters to play for the Gaels in the last five years.
Katie, a fourth-year middle blocker, joined the team in 2010 and helped them win the OUA provincial title in her second season. Brett is a second-year outside hitter; she joined her older sister in 2012, immediately playing her way onto the Gaels roster and the OUA all-rookie squad.
Both sisters agreed that team performance is more important than individual accolades.
“My goals are never really oriented around those awards,” Brett said. “They’re more oriented around how the team is doing.”
Last year, there were two sister tandems on the women’s team: The Hagarty sisters, and graduating player Katie Neville and her second-year sister Shannon, who’s still on the team.
Along with Gaels head coach Joely Christian-Macfarlane, the sister pairs have helped foster the family culture that’s been so vital to the team’s success. Christian-Macfarlane initially scouted and recruited Katie Hagarty, but Brett didn’t need to be sold on Queen’s.
“I kind of just knew I wanted to come here,” Brett said. “I knew I was going into a great volleyball program and a great academic school, plus having Katie here was another draw.”
The Hagarty sisters aren’t only contributing to the team atmosphere and culture. They’re also major factors on the court, both offensively and defensively.
Brett currently leads the team in digs with 150, and Katie is second at 84. Katie has also notched 16.5 blocks this season, and is on pace for a career best in the category.
Offensively, Brett sits second on the team in points with 111, followed closely by her sister’s 96.
The sisters are now in their second season together at Queen’s, and their previous experience playing on the same team is proving to be valuable. The pair played together at Aurora High School, as well as in beach volleyball.
“I think we complement each other well because she’s really good at things that I’m not good at,” Brett said. “I think her blocking is really good, and I think that’s probably the weakest part of my game.”
Their complementary playing style and extensive experience together has generated great chemistry between the sisters.
“I trust her more than I would trust the average player, because I already know what she’s doing — I know what she’s thinking,” Brett said.
“Sometimes we just know, because we’re so alike,” Katie added.
The Hagarty sisters are the ideal candidates for the volleyball program that Christian-Macfarlane is nurturing.
“They come from a great family and sporting background,” Christian-Macfarlane said. “When you think of an ideal family, the Hagartys come to mind.”
Christian-Macfarlane said she doesn’t actively recruit sisters to come to Queen’s, but instead develops relationships with her players and their families.
“My relationship with the older sisters and with the families builds a sense of trust with them,” she said.
“They know that their kids, if they want to pursue the game beyond high school and want to pursue it at a university level and be successful, I will take care of them.”
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