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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Sisters Julia and Olivia Murphy shine bright within Athletic Department

Murphy+has+led+the+Beacons+to+one+of+their+best+seasons+in+program+history
Murphy has led the Beacons to one of their best seasons in program history

Sisters are at times your first best friends, or maybe even your worst enemies. And in some cases, they can be your biggest supporters.
That was the case for University of Massachusetts Boston sophomore Olivia Murphy and her younger sister Julia.
For the Murphy sisters, there is no greater bond than the one they share through sports  a bond that was ignited by their father who, since the girls were little, placed them in sports programs together. While little sisters were in dance or school plays, the Murphy sisters were high-fiving each other on the field or court, depending on the season.
“We always grew up playing sports together; our dad put us in every sport. In the beginning, [Olivia] loved playing volleyball and I did too. In the end we just chose our sports, like [Olivia] loved basketball and I loved volleyball,” Julia said.
In high school, both sisters shared the same desire to play volleyball and softball, but they separated in the winter, where Olivia would put on her kicks for basketball and Julia would sharpen her skates and take to the rink for hockey.
They’ve been separated since.
First it was Olivia, who came to UMass Boston to play basketball. While Julia would follow her lead, a year later, she didn’t choose basketball. Instead, she selected volleyball.
Both sisters wasted no time putting their mark in their respective sport, and they attribute their success to one another.
“We always push ourselves. Like even in the offseason, we’d always go to the gym together, always trying to work out,” Julia said.
“We always were there for each other in the offseason, too, to make each other better and encourage each other and work out to make ourselves at the level we are right now,” Julia said.
Although moving from home may be tough, having each other makes the transition a lot smoother for the Murphy sisters.
“Because we have such a good relationship anyway, we know each other very well and it’s nice to have someone that you can lean on,” Olivia said.
While, Olivia is emerging as one of the key pieces on the Beacons’ basketball squad, the urge to play alongside her sister behind the net still lingers.
“I still miss it. I miss it a lot, but it would just interfere with basketball, and basketball is my first love,” Olivia said. 
Both of the sisters have been incredibly productive so far in their careers. Olivia won the LEC rookie of the year in basketball last year behind 14 points per game and an outstanding 65 percent field goal percentage. Julia has already emerged as a young star for the LEC champion volleyball team, rounding out her freshman year with an LEC Co-Offensive Player of the Year Award behind a team leading 313 kills. The middle hitter seems to be the latest in a long line of fantastic players at that position for coach Terry Condon’s squad. 
Kirsten Morrison, who plays both volleyball and basketball with the Murphy duo, says she tried to recruit Olivia to pursue volleyball, but the two-sport athlete understands the dilemma.
I have told Olivia she should come out for volleyball, but we don’t think the basketball coach would let her since I play volleyball too and miss basketball pre-season,” Morrison said.
Both sisters have the same competitiveness and drive to succeed, but Morrison said that the big difference between the sisters is their demeanor on the court.
“I think the biggest difference between the two of them is the way they are on the court. Julia is more energetic and makes the funniest faces and Olivia is more focused and determined on the court,” Morrison said.
Julia and the volleyball team are battling through the NCAA tournament, while Olivia, the ’12-’13 LEC rookie of the year, and the Lady Beacons will officially get their season underway underway on Nov. 19.