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Volleyball: Twin powered – Pellegrinis help guide Boyd to state

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017
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Working Together

WORKING TOGETHER – Tori Pellegrini sets the ball for her sister Laney. The two have helped Boyd to the state tournament. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting

Tori Pellegrini knows the look from her sister Laney when a set to her is just a little off kilter.

“She pulls her teeth together like this,” Tori explained. “She knows I can do better. But she’s the first to pick me back up.”

The sophomore twins have not needed a lot of picking each other up during a magical run for the Boyd Yellowjackets. The setter and middle blocker combo have helped guide Boyd to its first University Interscholastic League state volleyball championships.

Boyd will take on defending state champion Goliad at 11 a.m. Thursday in the 3A semifinal at the Culwell Center in Garland.

The Pellegrinis are relishing the opportunity.

Tori Pellegrini

Tori Pellegrini. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting

“It’s cool to have her here. Not many people get to experience something like this with their sister,” Laney said.

Tori added: “It’s been great. We get to go home and talk about it.”

The sisters were born 11 minutes apart with Laney being the oldest.

“She’ll hold it over me the rest of my life,” Tori joked.

On and off the court, the two are inseparable.

“We do everything together,” Tori said. “We’re in the same classes. We may not look like friends on the court, but we are.”

But the two are very different on the court and off. Tori, a setter, is the outgoing one, while Laney, a middle blocker, is more reserved.

Laney Pellegrini

Laney Pellegrini. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting

“They are complete opposites,” said Boyd coach Dusty Crafton. “They not only have opposite personalities but play different positions. Tori is the consistent setter and loud one. Laney is the quiet worker but has the ‘wow’ factor on the court. It’s definitely a blessing to have them.”

Their opposite personalities complement each other, especially on game days. Tori is usually the one settling down her older sister.

“She’s always nervous, and I’m not. I always tell her we can rest on our training,” Tori said. “I can usually calm her down.”

Last year, Laney made her debut on varsity during district play and was on the court through the Lady Yellowjackets’ run to the third round of the playoffs. Tori played on the junior varsity and was on the bench for the playoffs.

“It was the first time that Tori was not with me,” Laney recalled. “We work really well together.”

They were happy to be able to share the court from the start of this season and into the playoffs. In the 3A Region I final, the twins turned in solid matches. Tori handed out 17 assists. Laney blocked two shots and buried six kills.

While they love playing together, they admit there are times they butt heads.

Tori said her sister will offer critiques on her setting.

Laney countered: “It’s making you better.”

Tori, a natural setter, does not offer the same advice on hitting.

“I know the game, but I’m not as knowledgeable about hitting,” Tori said.

When she’s serving, Tori also gets the reminder from sister about tossing the ball higher. It’s something that Boyd fans have picked up on.

“There’s even a sign that says ‘high toss'” Tori said.

“I’ll get to 24 and miss a serve. I know it aggravates her.”

But the aggravation usually fades quickly with Tori soon setting a game-winning point, which produces a much more welcoming smile.

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