Household rivalries relocate to campus


Juniors Blake and Brooke Barnard.

Story by Jenna Black, Photo Editor

Close teammates rely on one another and may even dismiss a huddle by shouting “Family” in unison, but only a few teammates play a collegiate sport with an actual family member or even better, a twin. Three sets of twins at Baker are able to keep teamwork in the family.


With tennis rackets in their hands by the age of 5, there wasn’t really any other option for sophomores Blake and Brooke Barnard. Their father started taking them to the tennis courts daily, where he would practice with them. However, their father soon learned that the twins had a competitive nature about them that forced him to ban them from playing each other in the seventh grade.

“Brooke would yell at me on the court,” Blake said laughingly. “She wouldn’t be very happy.”

In high school, the twins put their differences aside and started to focus on their goal of earning a scholarship to play collegiately. They have done more than just join a collegiate team. Regionally, Brooke ranks 17th and Blake ranks 10th. As for who the better player is, we may never know, that is unless their father decides to withdraw the ban.


For seniors Kelsey and Cari Vollenweider, their competitive drive included pillow fights and races to see who would get to the shower first. The Vollenweider sisters were constantly trying to one-up each other.

“Anything you could make a competition, we made a competition,” Kelsey said.

Their passion for softball started by watching the U.S. Olympic softball team play in Springfield, Missouri, in 2004. After watching All-American Stacey Nuveman play catcher, Kelsey knew she wanted to be a catcher herself. The U.S. team also made Cari realize that she wanted to play at the collegiate level. Not soon after realizing their dreams of playing softball, the search was on for the right college.

The transition to Baker was not the smoothest for the two. Their freshman year, they roomed together in Irwin Hall.

“Our hall mates would have to take turns on who got to break up our fights,” Kelsey laughingly said.

Having matured since their freshman year, they have decided to give it another try by living together their last semester of college. They wanted to start and end their college years together because they’re not sure if they’ll ever be able to live with one another after their senior year is over.

One struggle for the Vollenweider twins has been trying to separate themselves from one another to create their own identity. Kelsey described it as having a lot of the same tendencies, but their personalities are “night and day.”


Junior Spencer Atkin can also attest to having a vastly different personality than his twin sister, Keeley. Spencer says the only thing the two really have in common is soccer, and the sport serves as a good way for them to bond.

They also have a pair of older twin brothers, making Keeley the only girl in the family. Keeley would stand her ground by repeatedly kicking Spencer in the shins when they would play in the backyard as kids.

Keeley admits that Spencer has always been better than her at soccer, but she can still hold her own.

“He’s a really good defender, but I’m better at attacking than he is,” Keeley said.

After interruptions in their high school playing careers, both knew they wanted to continue playing the sport they loved. Spencer had quit his freshman year but couldn’t stay away for long and came back to play as a sophomore.

Keeley suffered an ACL injury her junior year of high school. After coming back from the injury, Keeley had a new outlook on soccer and committed herself to it more.

Spencer admires his sister’s desire to continue playing after overcoming her injury. Keeley gives credit to Spencer because he’s quicker and faster than she is, but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s still 14 minutes older than him.

Despite all the constant competitions and bickering, one thing all three sets of twins agreed upon is that they’ll never be alone in life.