How sisters manage volleyball and being siblings

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Image: Will Darragh

Hannah Noon (left) is a setter, and Bailey Noon (right) is a defensive specialist for Mercer’s volleyball team.

Will Darragh, Contributing Writer

Bailey is 5’9” with freckles and red hair. Hannah is an inch taller and has dark brown hair. Looking at this pair on the court, the only apparent relationship between the two would be that they both play volleyball for Mercer University. However, Hannah and Bailey Noon are sisters who have the unique experience of being both siblings and teammates.

Born in Niceville, FL, Hannah started playing volleyball when she was in middle school. She began playing after her dad watched her hit a tetherball in their backyard and suggested that she try playing volleyball.

After a summer camp, Hannah was hooked. And when Bailey got into middle school, she followed in her sister’s footsteps. “I played because she played,” Bailey said.

Hannah added with a grin — “She likes to follow me.”

Five hours from their home in Florida, the Noon sisters now play volleyball for Mercer. They have been playing volleyball together for 10 years and still love it.

After playing for so long, the Noon sisters said, “You can’t stop, you can’t.” They share a genuine love for the sport. Every time the season ends, they cannot wait until it starts up again, they said.

For Hannah though, this will be her last season. She is a fifth year senior, and Bailey is a Junior.

Looking beyond the end of this season, Hannah says, “I’m not really sad. I’m mostly excited.”

After this season, she plans to take a semester studying abroad and is looking at grad school. Hannah is majoring in financial management and Bailey in public health.

Family is certainly important to the Noon sisters. Hannah said on her family coming to see their games, “They are there every game.”

The sisters have managed to be effective teammates by having a different on-the-court and off-the-court relationship.

“We are more like sisters off the court,” Hannah said. “On the court, we’re just like normal teammates,” Bailey.

“We don’t live together; on away games, we never room in the same room,” Bailey said.

“Our lockers are on opposite sides of the lockers,” Hannah said.

Talking not just about her sister, but about all of her teammates, “We’ll go randomly hang out in each other’s room,” Hannah said. The Noon sisters have developed strong bonds with each other, and with the entire team. They also seek support from fellow Mercer Bears. Other teams, such as the girl’s basketball team, will come to cheer on the girls at home games.

Goals for this season are to win conference and to have a winning record. But as upperclassmen, both sisters aim to do their best filling the roles of leaders on the team.

The Noon’s extended family of Mercer Bears is an encouraging factor for them. Home games for them take place in a smaller portion of the arena, so that the fans can feel more a part of the game.

“It’s close and loud and fun,” Hannah said. “It hypes us up. We don’t like it when there are no fans because then we have to create our own energy, but they give us a lot of energy to keep going.”

After practicing for four hours a day, the sisters said they watch Netflix to unwind. When they are feeling more adventurous, Hannah says, “Sometimes, we go to Atlanta, just to get out of Macon.”

The best advice that the sisters give athletes is to have fun and love the sport. The best advice they can give to sisters is to give each other space. “We argue sometimes,” Bailey said.

“But we are there for each other,” Hannah said.

“I couldn’t imagine my 5 years without the Noon family,” said Head Coach Damian Elder.