CARBONDALE, Colorado - In a Roaring Fork volleyball match at Palisade earlier this season, twin sisters Hattie and Megan Gianinetti confused the heck out of a line judge.
"She turned to us and said, 'Oh my goodness, I just figured out they're twins. I couldn't figure out how that girl was everywhere on the court,'" Rams coach Carrie Shultz relayed. "She thought it was one player. Then she realized there were two."
As it turns out, the Gianinetti sisters are very much their own people.
"They respond different to how you coach them," Shultz said. "They respond differently to their teammates. It's important to make sure we're talking to one or the other and we don't always throw them together as one person."
One thing both have in common: They're both well-rounded athletes who enjoy sports.
Both are seniors and both play volleyball and basketball at Roaring Fork, and both are pillars of each team. Both stand more than 6 feet tall and they are often introduced as the "Twin Towers" when lineups are announced prior to games or matches.
Sports bring the already-close sisters together.
"We've pretty much always been close," said Hattie, who was born a few hours earlier and technically on a different day than Megan. "We pretty much play all the same sports and have the same friends, So, yeah, we've always been really close."
Being close doesn't preclude them from arguing here and there.
"We do get in our arguments when we're playing sports, but most of the time we get along," Megan shared. "Maybe we're more competitive with each other, like, 'Come on, Hattie, you can do this.' We get along in sports pretty well."
They've always gravitated toward the same sports. Beyond volleyball and basketball, they both have dabbled in soccer.
With their team headed to Denver for the state tournament, volleyball is consuming their focus right now. They've grown to love the sport over the years.
"I wasn't the best at volleyball when I started," Megan said. "It was a struggle for me. I'm really glad I went through with it."
Hattie had a similar experience.
"I first started playing in the seventh grade," she said. "I guess I started playing because all my friends were playing. I was actually really terrible, but I guess I got better."
Her coach certainly thinks so.
"It's certainly been fun watching them from their freshman year, when they were getting tall and were still gangly and tripping on their feet," Shultz said. "To watch them each year get better and better has been amazing.
"They're not just big hitters and blockers. Their passing and defense is excellent, too. And I think that's what people who really watch them play are surprised by how good they are all the way around."
And, Shultz said, they're impressive people, too.
"They constantly want to learn and get better," she passed along. "They're just good, positive people to be around. We're lucky to have them in the gym with us. They're honor roll kids. Hattie is the president for her class right now. They're certainly involved in any and every activity."
That high of level of involvement will no doubt help them as they seek a college home.
"Hattie and I haven't really decided if we're going to go to the same school or different schools," Megan said. "We've kind of decided what feels right is where we're going."
And college may very well include volleyball. Time will tell.
For the time being, the Gianinettis are focused on Roaring Fork's second trip to the state tournament in three years.
"It's definitely an accomplishment," Hattie said. "We're glad we got to extend our season and we'll see what we can do. ... I feel like we're prepared. We want to do well and just give it our all."