Twins having a ball
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
THE long weekend in June is certainly going to be an exciting one in the Bienefelt household.
That's when another chapter in the family's long- running volleyball story is written.
The Bienefelt name has had a very strong presence in Coffs Harbour's volleyball scene over a long period of time and now, thanks to twins Ryan and Elyse making the State Under 19s team for the upcoming National Championships, the tradition continues.
Like most sets of twins, there always seems to be a symmetry in their achievements.
The 17 year-old pair will both be making their debuts at State level, after both spent three years playing in the North Coast sides.
Travelling to Adelaide for the 10 day tounament, the brother and sister combination can't wait to take part and test their skills amongst the best players in the competition.
"I'm pretty excited'" Ryan said.
"I'm just looking forward to the new friends that you make," Elyse added.
The selection trials were held in February when both played for their respective North Coast teams.
Strong performances from both saw the Bienefelt name in a state squad, just like their older brother Damon had done before.
For Ryan, an apprentice carpenter, being selected in the state team is the culmination of playing the sport for the last five years.
"I've been playing seriously for the last three years, as well as playing beach volleyball for a year," he said.
"The family is pretty stoked about us making the team, especially Mum.
"She's pretty keen, we wouldn't be in the teams if it wasn't for her."
As excited as the pair are about being selected in the state team, neither has any grand plans about being promoted to the Australian side.
"We just need to see how we go," Elyse said.
It's unlikely we'll get chosen, but you never know, we could do," Ryan added.
Often with twins, you assume there's an automatic connection between the two that would give them an edge when they play together.
On a Thursday night at Sportz Central though, there isn't much evidence of a connection at all.
"He's pretty mean," said Elyse of her brother's demeanour.
"I get pretty competitive," Ryan explained.
"When she does something wrong, I tell her."
"He says he's being nice and that he's helping me," Elyse answered.
"But he's not."
And so began another volleyball argument in the Bienefelt house.
It's not the first, and it definitely won't be the last.