Mosher sisters eager to play on same team again

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Mosher sisters eager to play on same team again

Madeline Mosher is one of five outside hitters on the 2018 roster. (Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics)

Madeline Mosher is one of five outside hitters on the 2018 roster. (Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics)

Madeline Mosher is one of five outside hitters on the 2018 roster. (Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics)

Madeline Mosher is one of five outside hitters on the 2018 roster. (Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics)

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In high school, Madeline and Claire Mosher were always known as “the Mosher sisters.”

“I can remember when we were really young, (playing volleyball) in the driveway,” Madeline said. “When I started is when she started too, and we’ve played together ever since.”

Three years after high school, junior outside hitter Madeline Mosher and her younger sister Claire, a freshman setter, will once again be reunited on the volleyball court.

Together the sisters led their Waterloo High School team to consecutive Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division III championships in 2014 and 2015. The team also had winning seasons both years, with a record of 37-2 in 2014 and 34-11 in 2015.

“There were definitely times (in high school) when we would get on each other for doing stupid mistakes,” Madeline said. “But I think that we learned to read each other’s emotions really well.”

The Moshers come from a volleyball family, as all three daughters played or will play the sport at the Division I level. Their younger sister Brooke signed to play at the University of Illinois in a couple of years. Claire also made an early decision, verbally committing as a freshman in high school, becoming one of the earliest national signees in the Class of 2018.

“Sophomore year we recruited Madeline, we had her out to a visit (and) we went and watched her,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “I think that summer afterwards, she committed. Six months later, Claire came to a clinic and we needed a setter in 2018, but it was really early in the process.”

Although Claire said she was not too keen on coming to Marquette after her sister signed, she fell in love with the university during her first visit and didn’t look at any other programs.

“I said, ‘Are you sure? Do you think you should go look at other places for comparison?’” Theis said. “(Claire was) like, ‘No, I want to stay close to home (and) I love the idea of playing with my sister. I want to go to Marquette.’ She made a decision really fast.”

During Madeline’s freshman and sophomore years, Claire tried to attend as many games as possible, but it was difficult while playing high school volleyball during the same season.

“When (Madeline) was a freshman, me and my mom actually flew to D.C. and watched the Villanova and Georgetown games,” Claire said.

This will be the first pair of sisters Theis coached in his five-year tenure, but he believes the team has the same tight-knit dynamic with or without the siblings. Theis estimated Claire could’ve been to Madeline’s apartment 500 times.

“I treat them like everyone else,” Theis said. “I think once in a while we can make a funny comment about them being sisters … I see really easy relationships forming.”

After only having a couple months of practice, Theis said Claire is catching on quickly to the higher speeds while also learning consistency and tempo. Theis said he noticed the differences in their playing styles through the first few weeks of the season.

Theis noticed Madeline’s fast-twitched and springy style of play, compared to Claire’s, which he believes is smoother, yet less dynamic. “It’s interesting. They’re very much a different athlete, but both very good athletes, just in slightly different ways,” Theis said.

On the court, the sisters play different positions, so they said they are driven more on personal success than sibling rivalry.

“We complement each other more than we push each other,” Madeline said. “If Claire gives me a bad set, I’ll tell her, or I think she’d do the same to me. She’d be like, ‘No, Madeline, that was a good set, you need to hit that.’”

Each year, Theis asks the new freshmen on his team what their biggest surprises are. When he asked Claire, she said she knew exactly what she was getting into from all the camps and stories from her older sister on the team.

“She’s told me lots of stories about the coaches and how their dynamic is and things that occur during practice,” Claire said. “I was pretty prepared for what I was coming into.”

Claire already knew the team as well. Madeline allowed Claire to stay with her and her teammates prior to being on the team, allowing her to adapt to the environment long before she suited up in the Golden Eagle uniform.

Not only are the Mosher sisters accomplished athletes, but they also focus on academics. Both were direct admits into the College of Health Sciences professional programs.

“They’re a wonderful family, very bright,” Theis said. Madeline was pre-admitted into the six-year PT program and Claire was pre-admitted into the nursing program.

As Claire faces several questions during her transition to Division I volleyball, she said Madeline is always her role model.

“I’ve already asked her when’s the best time to do homework (and if we) are we going to have time on the road to do homework,” Claire said. “I have a lot of questions, and she’s always there to answer them for me.”

Madeline used her two years of Division I volleyball to help Claire.

“I hope I’m a good mentor for her,” Madeline said. “I’m trying to give her the inside scoops on how you need to study for this class or when you should do homework on the road.”

And as Madeline mentors Claire, the stakes are much higher than in Waterloo High School.

“In college games, there’s more on the line than just letting your high school down,” Claire said. “There’s people from all over the country watching what you do as a college.”

Now fans will likely know Madeline and Claire as the Mosher sisters again, just on a larger stage.

“A lot of people know who we are and think that we go together really well and we have a special dynamic because we are sisters and we grew up together,” Claire said. “It’s something unique that doesn’t happen very often.”

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