JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/20/2008 - Amanda Hutchison Coyle and Christa Hutchison are both former volleyball standouts at Trinity Christian Academy in Jackson, Tenn. Coyle is a senior at Union (Tenn.) University, while younger sister Christa is in her freshman season at Lee (Tenn.) University in Chattanooga.
Both sisters will be participating in the 2008 NAIA Volleyball National Championships with their respective teams. Union and Amanda travel to California to play Vanguard (Calif.) University. Christa and Lee University will travel to Canton, Ohio, to play Walsh (Ohio) University.
Despite the two teams playing their opening rounds almost 2,400 miles apart, the two still seem connected now more than ever. Amanda said, “Even though we are starting off playing on opposite sides of the country, it still feels awesome and I feel more connected to her in a way.”
Christa at Lee received a phone call from Amanda when Union clinched its bid to nationals after winning the TranSouth Conference Tournament.
“She called me when she got done playing and told me that we had to win and maybe we can play each other. We were both real excited,” Christa said.
Amanda and Christa are the daughters of Keith and Julie Hutchison of Jackson. Amanda is married to Damon Coyle of Jackson.
Christa said, “Our dad has always been into volleyball and is a nationally ranked referee. He had us peppering in the back yard before middle school. He also coached my sister and me in high school.”
Union has been close to making nationals in recent years, but has come up short. But this year, Amanda’s fourth year at Union, she helped lead her team to the nationals.
“With this season being my last it was even more special to me,” Amanda said. “Then to top it off, my sister is also going, and that got us both really pumped about the whole thing. I am so proud of her and her team. It was kind of crazy how similar our seasons were. We were both second in our conference going into the conference tournament, and then we fought back to win our conference tournaments.”
Christa is one of her sister’s biggest fans. “Amanda is an amazing player and has away motivated me play better,” she said. “During my freshman year of high school we got to play together. I was the setter and Amanda carried our team to state. She is ridiculously good and her stats show that. I don't think anyone will ever be able to break her high school records.”
Over her career in high school, Amanda earned three All-District and All-Tournament honors. In 2004, she was named District and Region MVP, District Player of the Year, and the Jackson Sun Player of the Year. Amanda holds four Tennessee state high school records for kills.
Amanda has recently moved into second place on Union’s all-time career kills list. She currently sits at 1,796 career kills entering the national tournament. Coyle leads Union this season with 385 kills and is also first with a .362 hitting percentage. She was named TranSouth All-Conference for the fourth time in her career.
Christa is fifth on Lee’s team with 218 kills and is fourth with 1.8 kills per game. She also ranks third on her team with 37 service aces.
Both Union (27-7) and Lee (29-9) are receiving votes in the final NAIA volleyball rankings.
“We both think it would be totally awesome if we both made it to Iowa and played each other there,” Amanda said. “The only bad thing about that is that one of us would have to lose.”
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