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A special sister act

November 26, 2018

When Marissa Anderson was preparing to graduate from Crosby High School, her family would joke about how cool it would be if she came back to coach her younger sister Erica.

“We never thought it would actually happen since she graduated [from LeTourneau University] with an engineering degree, but God had other plans, and the door was open,” said Marissa and Erica’s mother Brandi Anderson.

Marissa, who played volleyball at Crosby High School and graduated in 2013, was an assistant coach for the 2017 season and became the interim head coach after Keia Torres left to become the coach at Tomball Memorial.

Marissa struggled to contain her excitement when she was offered the position of head volleyball coach.

“I don’t think it was awkward,” said Erica, a member of the Crosby High School class of 2019. “I just think that, if anything, you just had to be aware that we can’t act like sisters on the court, you have to separate that.”

During the senior night ceremony before Crosby’s final home game of the 2018 season, Marissa spoke about how she had known all the seniors since middle school and they are all like little sisters to her.

“It was very emotional,” she said. “I had to hold it together. My voice shook a little when I was talking, but I recomposed myself. Overall, it was more of an emotion of wowed and just honored to be able to have those girls on my team this year.”

The two sisters would see each other every day for practice, but when they would hang out on the weekends or at their parent’s house, Marissa would realize how much she missed acting like sisters.

Assistant coaches and opposing coaches wouldn’t even realize the two were sisters until they heard the shared last name or were told so.

The other players said that, after spending a while around the two of them, you can see the shared mannerisms.

Marissa didn’t give Erica special treatment. In fact, Marissa acknowledged that she was probably tougher on Erica than she was on the other players.

Erica said that her sister would throw the ball a little harder at her than the other players during drills though she acknowledged that was because she knew what she was capable of doing.

“It was kind of hard to separate that,” Erica said. “She’s just doing that because she knows me. I tried not get irritated when she was harder on me.”

Because the two had grown up each other, Marissa could tell from Erica’s emotions from her facial expression and could tell when she was irritated.

Marissa would have to handle those emotions and remember that those expressions were toward a coach, not a sister.

She said the best part of the shared experience was being able to watch Erica’s senior year and to be able to go through it with her.

“Marissa knew what I would respond to and was always there helping me through things,” said Erica. “Even outside of volleyball, if I needed anything, I knew she was there for me.”

John and Brandi Anderson, Marissa and Erica’s parents were at every game.

“Getting to see my parents in the stands was great, though I know they’re really coming to watch Erica,” Marissa said. “Even when I played, they were at every single game. They’re a huge support system. They wouldn’t miss it for the world. It was really neat to have them here with me and Erica this year. Having a strong family base my first year head coaching has been absolutely amazing. My fiancé as well has made almost every single game.”

“I always have somebody there for me and Erica, and it means the absolute world. The season would have been a lot tougher if I wouldn’t have had that support.”

Marissa, Erica, Brandi, and John hung out for a long time following Crosby’s playoff loss.

“John and I have been so blessed to be able to watch Marissa’s dream as a head coach be fulfilled and watch our youngest daughter, Erica, play with such passion and heart her senior year under the leadership of her sister, Marissa,” said Brandi.

elliott.lapin@hearst.com

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