October 2, 2023

Sister volleyball duo: Emily and Alyce Bender


This archived article was written by: Kayla Newman

Emily and Alyce Bender are one of two sister duos on the USUE women’s volleyball team this year. Emily and Alyce are both freshman at Eastern, but came her under different circumstances than most student athletes. They enjoy playing with each other and explain the pros and cons of playing a collegiate sport with family.
Emily and Alyce came to Price from Las Vegas, Nev. The switch from a busy city to such a small town was hard to adjust to. “I hated coming to Price at first. I thought it was way boring and such a small pool of people, especially compared to Vegas. The more time I spend here, the more I appreciate it and gotten used to it,” Emily says. She decided to come to Price last spring, and did everything she needed to do to graduate from high school early to begin practicing with the team right away.
For some, graduating high school early would be hard, but Emily knew it was something she wanted to do and quickly made the transition to being a college student. “Honestly I didn’t mind graduating early. It was good for me I think. My senior year of high school was really easy and I felt like I was wasting time.”
Alyce came to Price so she could play volleyball with her little sister. She thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play college volleyball and get to room with her sister, so she took the offer. Alyce decided to come to Eastern while serving an LDS mission in Norway. She had to apply to USUE, register for classes, figure out where to live, etc., all through email and while she was trying to finish the last part of her mission.
She didn’t get any down time to plan, or even enjoy being home after returning from her mission. “I got back from my mission Thursday night on Aug. 18 then came up [to Price] that Sunday on Aug. 21.
You could say it was a fast transition. It was nice because jumping right into school and volleyball kept me pretty busy. It was also a little difficult because I had absolutely no time to prepare myself for the season. I was pretty rusty to say the least,” Alyce says.
Playing any sport with family, along with living together, and trying to handle a full-course load can be overwhelming at times, but can have so many rewards.
The support of family is something Alyce and Emily lean on. “We can be totally honest with each other without hurting any feelings about how the other is playing. It’s a lot easier to take advice from my sister than another teammate,” Alyce says about the positives of having her sister on her team.
“The bad part about playing with Alyce is that it’s easier to take my frustration out on her, just cause she’s my sister,” Emily admits.
The only thing they both agree is the hardest part about playing together is sharing clothes.” We fight over who is wearing whose socks or spandex. We usually share everything we own, but sometimes the ownership comes into play,” Alyce says. Despite their unique circumstances coming to Price to play volleyball, Emily and Alyce are happy they get to be at Eastern. They work well together on and off the court and enjoy the time they get to spend with each other playing the sport they both love.

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