Prep Volleyball: Clonts sisters suit up for Gilroy

Gilroy's Jasmin Rodriguez (1) and Margo Clonts (3) try to block a shot from Sobrato's Ellie Downing (8) during the annual Dig Pink volleyball tournament Oct. 17 at Gavilan College.

GILROY—When sisters Jenna, Evelyn and Margo Clonts learned they’d all be suiting up for the Mustangs varsity squad this year, each had a different reaction.
Jenna, the eldest sister, was scared of losing her position to her younger siblings—a fear which turned out to be valid. Margo, on the other hand, was relieved. As a freshman, she’d have the guidance of her older sisters as she made the transition to prep level volleyball.
As for Evelyn, she was elated.
“I just got a big grin on my face. I’m like ‘we’re going to torture Margo this year and it’s going to be super fun,’” the junior Clonts sister teased. “This is only going to happen once; we only have one shot at this. Next year it’s not going to happen like this.”
The Clonts trio is embracing their once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even though Jenna, a senior, had to made the move from middle hitter to outside hitter/setter, she has welcomed the change as it allows her to spend time with her sisters.
“We’re all growing up…we have all these responsibilities and jobs now, so we don’t really see each other at home,” Jenna said. “So at practice everyday we get to see each other and spend time together. It’s nice. It’s a break from all our problems.”
Their sisterly bond has given them an edge on the court, too. Without saying a word, the three can sense their sisters’ frustration or joy and they know how to lift each other up accordingly.
“I know them more than everybody else knows them,” Evelyn said. “If I see a look on their face, I’m like ‘oh, Jenna’s mad. Help her.’ Or if I see a look on Margo’s face I’m like ‘Margo, it’s OK. We’ll get the next one.’ I can’t do that with other people because I don’t know them well enough.”
But that cohesiveness doesn’t always translate as seamlessly as they hope.
During a preseason tournament, Jenna and Evelyn both dove for the same ball. When they got up, Jenna turned to her sister, gave her a light slap on the leg and said ‘that’s mine’—a reaction they immediately cracked up over and one that has become a running joke on the team ever since.
“No one on my team would smack my leg like that,” Evelyn said laughing. “I’m like ‘that’s my sister.’”
The experience has been invaluable for young Margo, too. While the team has provided a family-feel, having her sisters beside her on the court has helped her flourish into a varsity-level athlete.
“Of course the little sister always wants to be like the big sisters,” Margo said. “I love being on the court with my sisters. They do help me a lot…We all bicker, but we all work together.”
The Mustangs will play their season finale at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at North Monterey County. While Margo and Evelyn will likely be teammates next year, Jenna said she’s cherishing the time she has shared on the court with her sisters.
“I got to see them grow up as middles,” Jenna said. “Being a senior and getting to have such a close team this year, it makes me happy.”

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