Sister act leads Tritons

    What do two of UCSD’s top players on the women’s volleyball team have in common, other than being among the team leaders in kills, attack percentage, digs and service aces?

    Guardian file photo

    They’re sisters.

    Meet Jennie and Bonnie Wilson. Jennie, a senior middle blocker, is one of the leaders of this year’s team with her tremendous all-around play and tenacity.

    Bonnie, a sophomore transfer from the University of New Hampshire, brings the Tritons another strong player at the outside hitter position, making an immediate impact. Bonnie joins setter Teresa Ohta, outside hitter Stacy Dunsmore and middle blockers Katie Hogan and Kendra Canape to form the Fabulous Fives: a group of five incredibly talented members of the class of 2005 who have proven themselves a force to be reckoned with, and whose potential in the coming years is sky high.

    Courtesy of UCSD Athletics

    “”It’s pretty exciting to know that we have two more years,”” Bonnie said. “”We have great setters, hitters, everything. And there’s more to come. [Head coach] Duncan [McFarlane] keeps recruiting and trying to bring in the best. It’s really neat to come into something so strong.””

    Had it not been for Jennie’s encouragement, however, the Fives might have only been four. After a miserable year in New Hampshire, Bonnie set her sights back on California. Looking for a good education and a place to play volleyball, she narrowed her search to UC Berkeley, UCLA and UCSD.

    “”In high school, we shared everything,”” Jennie said. “”We shared our room, we shared the ride to school; we carpooled. Every minute of our day was together, and then you go to practice together, and if you have a frustrating practice, you go home together to study together in the same room. We didn’t ever break out into a brawl out in the middle of the court, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite.””

    With a little space of their own, the Wilsons are thriving. While dominating the stat sheet, Jennie and Bonnie are also helping the Tritons pick up wins. The team has opened its season with a 10-3 start, despite injuries and a general lack of cohesion on offense. UCSD looks to repeat last year’s trip to the Division II Final Four this season, admitting that lofty standard is something they aim for.

    “”Every year, our team goal is to put ourselves in a position to win the national championship,”” Jennie said.

    With the two Wilsons playing together, that goal seems very possible this season. Jennie’s rare talent as a middle blocker and Bonnie’s defensive prowess give the Tritons two great all-around players. It is a testament to their ability that Jennie and Bonnie, 5′ 11″” and 6′, respectively, lead UCSD in digs.

    While Jennie begrudges Bonnie’s extra inch of height, the two are closer than the inch that separates them.

    “”The relationship that we have is very different than that of anyone on the court,”” Jennie said. “”There’s this comfort level that you get with very few other people in your life where you know that there’s no line that you can’t cross.””

    That comfort level will undoubtedly be valuable when the Tritons look to accomplish big things this season. And with Jennie and her fellow upperclassmen leading, Bonnie and the Fabulous Fives playing well, the freshmen contributing and the entire UCSD team coming together, this is not a team whose goals should be taken lightly. There’s too much determination in these sisters’ eyes. There’s too much fire, too much passion and two Wilsons too many for any opponent to stop.

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