From womb-mates to teammates, twin volleyball sophomores Natasha and Nahir Berrios Laguerre are looking to continue their sibling bond on and off the court.
Hailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico by way of Raleigh, the Berrios Laguerres have been on the same teams together for the last 7 years.
After moving to the United States 3 years ago, Nahir, who started playing team sports at 12, was quick to pick up volleyball again with her sister in her new country. Natasha added track to the sports she played while at Sanderson High School.
Nahir has the edge over her twin by being the older of the two and having a sense of “twin telepathy” about her sister to anticipate Natasha’s next move.
“She pushed me [in the womb],” laughed Natasha. “Even the doctor said that she pushed me.”
That playful bond between the two, who are both incidentally defense specialist/liberos, has led to them competing against each other for motivational reasons rather than glory, according to Nahir.
“We just motivate one another to become better,” she explained.
At home, their different hobbies make it harder to compete: Natasha prefers to play video games like League of Legends and Resident Evil while Nahir practices her makeup skills, jogs and talks with their parents. However, both of them enjoy working, studying and watching movies.
Their role models also differ as Nahir looks up to Brazilian libero and four-time Olympic medalist Sérgio Santos while Natasha aspires to take her mass communication degree and become a journalist like Robin Roberts, Wolf Blitzer or Anderson Cooper. Nahir’s ultimate career goal as a pharmaceutical sciences major is to find the cure for fibrosis and/or fibromyalgia, both conditions affecting connective tissue.
Both sisters enjoy playing for the same team in college and describe the experience as “amazing.”
“There is a connection, but we have to let ourselves know what to do on the court,” said Natasha. “[Sports] has strengthened our relationship as sisters.”