Tressa Lyman had already accumulated three kills when her sister, Riley Lyman, checked into the game against Southern Utah on Thursday.
Idaho State led the Thunderbirds 22-20 in the first set when the supporters visiting from Enterprise got their first glimpse of the two Lyman sisters on the floor together in the orange uniforms of the Bengals.
Riley Lyman subbed in, and even picked up a dig in her brief time on the floor, and the Bengals maintained their lead when she was subbed out at 24-22.
There were brief moments in the first set and third set, but volleyball fans in Southern Utah saw the two sisters play on the court together for the first time ever. The two narrowly missed playing together at Enterprise High School, but Tressa Lyman is a redshirt senior at ISU, allowing her to team up with freshman sister Riley for an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“It’s been the best thing,” Tressa Lyman said. “We didn’t get to play together in high school so it’s been fun getting on the court together, hanging out together, living together, and learning to play together.”
Younger sister Riley Lyman, the high school female recipient of the Utah Governor’s State of Sport Award last year, said her freshman year at Idaho State has been a dream come true by having her older sister on campus with her.
“I go to college and right away have someone who can teach me what I need to know,” Riley said. “It’s great having Tressa in practice, and when I make a mistake she’s able to teach me and I can get it fixed right away.”
The two of them are “getting real close,” as Riley put it.
“We’ve had lots of laughs and adventures,” Tressa said. “We’re literal roommates, too. We share one bedroom.”
So there was added excitement at Centrum Arena in Cedar City on Thursday, for the two sisters, at least. The Bengals swept the hometown Thunderbirds, and then everyone from Enterprise who attended the game got his or her chance to catch up with Tressa and Riley before the Bengals got back on the bus to leave for Flagstaff. Idaho State plays at Northern Arizona on Saturday.
As a senior, Tressa had plenty of experiences playing in Cedar City, but those didn’t necessarily quell the excitement.
“SUU is always a good team and will play us tough so that helps in focusing on the game,” Tressa said. “I always have to tell myself to relax and don’t freak out when I play down here because I’m excited to see everyone, but we still have a game to play.”
Leave it to Riley to really not feel any nerves at all. She checked into the game during the first set and was as cool as the other side of the pillow.
“I had a little bit of nerves, but not too much,” she said. “I was excited to see everyone and play in front of them again, and I just had to calm down and play.”
Riley checked back into the game during the third set and helped the Bengals finish off the sweep. Tressa finished the night with a team-leading 14 kills.
Follow Richard Briggs on Twitter, @BriggsRich. Call him at 435-674-6233.