LACES Untied

LACES Untied

LACES Untied

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Either Orr: Sisters Share the Court

Championship season anchored by a special pair
Orr+sisters+pose+with+the+DII+champion+plaque.
Taizo Nakayama
Orr sisters pose with the DII champion plaque.

The 2023 girls’ varsity volleyball team features a dynamic sister duo of senior Mia Orr and sophomore Catie Orr. The phenomenon is a rarity; only two of the more than dozen teams it faced this season featured siblings on their roster. [Editor’s Note: The Orrs are both part of the LACES Untied editorial staff.]

This season is the sisters’ second year playing on the LACES court together. They both joined the varsity roster in their freshman years; Catie moved up from JV as a starting defensive-specialist Libero two years after Mia’s debut as a starting setter in 2021.

The sisters most notably found success in their 2023 city and state playoff run. In their past 2022 city playoffs, Mia made the DIII All-City 2nd Team. In 2023, however, Mia and Catie both made the DII All-City 1st Team upon winning the city championships. They continued onto the DV State Championships, where they placed among the Top 16 teams in California.

“The Orr sisters are the epitome of a hard-working, team-first mentality,” said Girls Varsity Coach Mr. Andrew Paschen. “Anytime players need to look towards who’s performing in a way that shows they’re dedicated and committed, you can always look to one of the Orr sisters.” [Editor’s Note: Paschen also serves as the advisor on LACES Untied.]

The sisters have a family dynamic at home that their mother, Tami Orr, describes as “confrontational in love.”

“Like, ‘that’s mine,’” added their father, Nate Orr. “‘Don’t touch my things.’ ‘Stay out of my room.’ ‘Those are my shoes,’ and ‘that’s my toast.’”

However, the parents say Mia and Catie’s rivalry is rooted in their dedication to improvement.

“I think they push each other — they want to be competitive with each other, but they want to be good,” Tami said. “Since they’re both on the court, they don’t want to let each other down.”

Mia and Catie’s parents testified that the sisters continue their healthy volleyball rivalry at home. One particular Orr pastime is “short court,” a modified version of volleyball with smaller courts and shorter nets.

“[Short court] gets heated,” Nate said. “God forbid someone gets a block, or you’ll never hear the end of it. The net isn’t very tall, but there’s a lot of trash talk.”
Paschen agreed that despite being on the same team at LACES, Catie and Mia’s dynamic is one rife with competition with each other.

“The dynamic is — Catie’s got a little bit more fire, and Mia’s the one that’s a little bit more calm,” said Paschen. “Sometimes there’s disagreements on the court. But Mia won’t back down — she still has that competitive edge. There was one game I almost had to call a timeout just to make sure the two players could get settled the right way.”

Mia and Catie also played on teams at West Volleyball and Actyve Volleyball Club. They left memorable impressions on Actyve Coach Lauren Shook, the head coach for Mia’s 16s and Catie’s 15s teams in 2022-23 and 2023-24, respectively.

“Mia is the most joyful kid I’ve ever coached,” said Shook. “She always has a smile on her face, and she’s very optimistic, even when her team is down. Her infectious, upbeat energy helps her team to recover from errors quickly. As a setter, that’s an amazing quality. She’s calculated and graceful.”

Shook contrasted Mia’s optimism to Catie’s openly competitive energy as a libero who “make[s] sure that ball never hits the ground by whatever means necessary.”

“Catie, on the other hand, is aggressive and fierce,” she said. “She’s got a game face on the court, and she pushes her teammates to compete harder and faster… her intensity is her fuel.”

Overall, the Orr family recognizes the uniqueness of Mia and Catie’s volleyball bond beyond its quantitative rarity in the region.

“I think Mia really values playing with her sister,” Nate said. “I’m not sure if every sibling would feel that way.”

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About the Contributor
Taizo Nakayama, Deputy Online Manager | Entertainment Editor
Taizo Nakayama is a senior with a passion for astrobiology, a field where people look for little green people in space. He enjoys critiquing sci-fi films in lengthy blog posts and writing flash fiction; the lack of required commitment to worldbuilding appeals to him.  
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