The older sister and the younger sister do not do separation well.
At their parents' home in Haysville, their two bedrooms are not really two bedrooms at all. Instead, there is a short hallway that connects them. A door, they both say, is not necessary. Neither are separate wardrobes. Or different tastes in music.
And on the volleyball court at Friends University, Chandra and Lorielle Slates take their bond to another level.
"You see the dynamic between the two, and it is really something else," Friends coach Martin Ayin said. "And that comes from playing sports together since they were very, very young. If anything, I don't want Chandra to always give Lori so much insight into what's going on, to let her learn things on her own sometimes. But it is awesome to watch that chemistry."
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Chandra, a 5-foot-10 senior middle hitter, is a two-time All-KCAC selection, plus a second-team selection as a freshman. Lorielle, a 5-11 sophomore outside hitter, was honorable mention last year as the two helped lead Friends to the KCAC Tournament championship and the NAIA tournament.
It was the national tournament last season, when the Falcons were bounced in the first round by Bellevue (Neb.), that the Campus High products say they've drawn the most motivation for this year.
"That was a real eye-opener, because they beat us pretty good," Lorielle said. "It showed us how we needed to prepare and what was out there, what it took to get to that next level."
Two years ago, it was no sure thing that the sisters would end up playing college sports together, with Lorielle leaning towards playing soccer.
Early on, Chandra decided that no matter how much she wanted her younger sister to join her at Friends, she would not try to sway her that way in the decision process.
The only thing worse than not playing volleyball with her sister, she thought, would be if she felt like Lorielle came to Friends only to make her happy.
"Of course I wanted her to play here, but I knew she was iffy, a little confused about where she wanted to go," Chandra said. "I did tell her it would be awesome to play together, but I didn't want to affect her decision. I thought it would hurt if she left because that's my best friend ... but I wanted her to be happy with what she decided."
Turns out, both sisters were having the same misgivings about going their separate ways.
"People say we're connected at the hip," Lorielle said. "I can't remember a time growing up where we weren't around our family, around each other. She really is my best friend. I didn't want to be away from her, from my family. Playing together has been a lot of fun."
The Falcons started the season by going 2-2 at the Columbia (Mo.) tournament last weekend, with both losses coming to top 10 teams in No. 7 Columbia and No. 8 Texas-Brownsville. Friends met Tabor on Wednesday night.
"We feel like the writing is on the wall this year, that the bar has been set, so to speak," Ayin said. "I put a lot more on the whole team in the offseason and they responded. We were all disappointed with how we ended things last year."