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College volleyball: Canby alumnae set to square off in sister series

Garyn Schlatter and Portland State will host Kasey Schlatter and Montana State in a conference match Sept. 28.


by: LARRY LAWSON / PSU ATHLETICS - Portland State senior Garyn Schlatter (shown) will face off against her sister, Montana State junior Kasey Schlatter, in a Big Sky Conference match Sept. 28.Terri Jo Schlatter knows exactly what she’ll wear to the game.

The bright-green side of the homemade T-shirt features the words “PORTLAND STATE” and the jersey number of her older daughter, Garyn. The dark-blue side of the shirt reads “MONTANA STATE” and has the jersey number of her younger daughter, Kasey.

Schlatter also knows exactly where she’ll sit. Before the 7 p.m. start of the Sept. 28 volleyball match, she’ll enter the Stott Center on the campus of Portland State University and find a spot aligned with the net.

She knows exactly what her goal will be, too. For the next few hours, she will try to remain as neutral as possible as she watches her daughters face off in a regular-season Big Sky Conference clash in Oregon for the last time.

“It’s not as fun as you think it is,” said Schlatter, the first-year head coach of a Canby High School volleyball program whose alumnae include Garyn and Kasey. “You can’t invest in any one team. What I decided was that I’ll cheer for good plays. If there’s a good kill, I can cheer for whoever got it. If the ball goes out of bounds, I don’t cheer. I cheer for the good plays, enjoy all the good plays and hope I don’t have a secret wish for somebody to win.”

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The sibling rivalry has evolved since it began when Kasey joined the roster at Montana State in 2011.

In the first showdown that September in Bozeman, Mont., Kasey by: MSU ATHLETICS - Kasey Schlatter (shown), a defensive specialist for Montana State, has never defeated her sister in their four previous meetings at the collegiate level.and the Bobcats fell short in a 3-2 (25-23, 25-21, 16-25, 21-25, 15-11) loss to Garyn and the Vikings.

Kasey, for one, wasn’t accustomed to seeing her sister and former high school teammate on the other side of the court.

“The first time against each other, it was hard to take the game seriously because she would wink at me or mouth something to me — it was hard to really pay attention to the game,” Kasey said. “As it’s gone on, we’ve learned not to interact as much. But we’ll still say something to each other, or she’ll blow a kiss.”

Now a junior, Kasey is no longer caught off guard by the biannual bout. But there’s plenty on the line, to be sure. Garyn is a senior, so Kasey has just two more chances to snag a victory against her sister in the collegiate ranks.

Garyn and PSU have won each of the four previous meetings against Kasey and MSU, taking 12 of 16 sets in the process. The final faceoff is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Bozeman.

“You never know what’s gonna happen,” Garyn said. “Every year is a new year. I wish we could tie. ... We have a good relationship as athletes and as siblings, so it’s really fun to get an experience that a lot of people don’t or won’t ever get.”

Added Kasey: “My goal is to beat her just once — I don’t need to win the series. Portland State is a really strong team, and we’re in a rebuilding stage, but it would be cool to beat them before she leaves.”

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Meanwhile, the upcoming edition of the sibling rivalry series will offer a glance at competitors who have settled into specialized roles for their respective Division I programs.

Although both were big-time offensive weapons during their stint at Canby, they now focus on other aspects of the game.

Garyn has become an accomplished setter for Portland State, climbing into the top five on the school’s all-time list for assists with more than 3,200 in her career and earning first-team all-league honors three times in as many years.

The senior studies physical activity, exercise and community health at the school where her mother earned a national title as a volleyball player in 1984 and served as an assistant coach for the team through 1993.

“Garyn is very dynamic — she’s 5-foot-8, but she can touch the rim (on a 10-foot basketball hoop),” Terri Jo said. “She’s very aggressive. That big jump really helps her out.

“She was recruited as a hitter and setter, but she’s such a good setter that it seems like they can’t give up her setting. She’s probably the best setter in that conference.”

Kasey, meanwhile, has morphed into a defensive specialist at Montana State.

She played in 110 of her team’s 111 sets as a freshman, logging 221 digs, and she tallied 221 more while playing in all 118 sets for the Bobcats last fall.

The 5-foot-9 kinesiology major had recorded 97 digs through 12 games as a junior this year.

“Kasey was recruited as a six-rotation player because she has the ball-handling skills,” Terri Jo said. “But when her program had a coaching change, she was basically told, ‘You’re not gonna see the front row — you’re not big enough.’ So she’s trying to fight to be libero.”

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Regardless of what happens in their final two conference clashes, Garyn and Kasey will always have fond memories of their time together at Canby.

They played significant roles in making the Cougars relevant at the state level, helping the program nab six-straight appearances in the round of 16 from 2005-10 and three-consecutive trips to the quarterfinals (2007-09).

In 2008, when Garyn was a senior and Kasey was a sophomore, they vaulted Canby to fourth place in the Class 6A tournament — the best finish in school history.

The sisters combined for numerous all-state, all-tournament and all-conference honors during their standout prep careers.

Their high school experiences fortified a relationship that remains strong today — even though the two are usually hundreds of miles apart.

“We have a lot to talk about because we’re seeing the same opponents all the time,” Garyn said. “We talk about how our practices are going. We get a little bit of the inside info. We keep it fun.”

Added Kasey: “I played with her in high school but never really got to play against her. So, especially at this level, it’s really fun to compete against her.”

As for their mom, who coached them through the club ranks, she is looking forward to the last daughter-against-daughter matchup in Portland. It will be stressful and wonderful at the same time.

“I’m just really proud of them,” Terri Jo said. “They worked hard to get (to where they are). It’s really cool that they’re in the same conference. And I enjoy watching them.”

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AT A GLANCE

What: Big Sky Conference volleyball match between Portland State and Montana State, pitting Canby sisters Garyn and Kasey Schlatter against each other

When: Saturday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.

Where: PSU Stott Center, 930 SW Hall St., Portland, OR 97201

Tickets: $8 for adults; $6 for youth (ages 3-17); $5 per person in groups of 12 or more

More information: 503-725-3307; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; www.goviks.com

SIBLING RIVALRY SERIES

Garyn Schlatter and Portland State have won all four Big Sky Conference games against Kasey Schlatter and Montana State over the last two seasons:

Sept. 24, 2011 in Bozeman: PSU, 3-2 (25-23, 25-21, 16-25, 21-25, 15-11)

Oct. 28, 2011 in Portland: PSU, 3-0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-23)

Sept. 22, 2012 in Bozeman: PSU, 3-1 (16-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-22)

Oct. 25, 2012 in Portland: PSU, 3-1 (25-14, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21)

Sept. 28 in Portland, 7 p.m.:

Nov. 1 in Bozeman, 7 p.m.:

SCHLATTERS AND COUGARS

The Canby volleyball team made six-straight state playoff appearances during the high school careers of sisters Garyn and Kasey Schlatter:

2005: 16-team pool play (Garyn freshman)

2006: round of 16 (Garyn sophomore)

2007: quarterfinals (Garyn junior, Kasey freshman)

2008: fourth place (Garyn senior, Kasey sophomore)

2009: fifth place (Kasey junior)

2010: round of 16 (Kasey senior)




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