Always sharp and never rusty

Ruste sisters dominate together on the court

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Andrea and Stephanie Ruste

Jonas Hrebeniuk

THEY'LL GIVE YOU BUMPS LIKE JBR's DANCE FLOOR. The sick sister duo of Andrea and Stephanie Ruste (left and right respectively) makes its presence felt on the volleyball court and in the classroom.

Tennis prodigies Venus and Serena Williams; Olympic figure skaters Sarah and Emily Hughes; Olympic volleyball “smash sisters” Bev and Elaina Oden. These women share not only dazzling athletic ability, but also the privilege of competing alongside their sisters.

The Western Mustangs women’s volleyball team boasts a sister act of its own. Libero Andrea Ruste and middle Stephanie Ruste are two integral members of this year’s successful squad.

Following an 18-1 regular season, the women were the top seed entering the Ontario University Athletics playoffs. The ’Stangs fell short in the semifinal against Ottawa, but fourth-year Ivey student Stephanie is proud of their accomplishments.

“We had a pretty fantastic season,” she says. “We had a great team, great depth [and] a good group of girls.”

With 121 kills to Stephanie’s name and sophomore Andrea leading the OUA with 396 digs, head coach Dean Lowrie was impressed with their contribution

“Steph was consistent all year long,” he says. “[Andrea] was dynamite; she was libero of the year…their contribution was huge.”

Despite being in demanding academic programs, both women managed to mix successful volleyball seasons with promising academic careers.

“I definitely don’t go out as much as some of the girls,” Stephanie says. “If you work on the bus on the way to a game, it’s a lot better than working when you get home at 11 at night.”

Teammate and friend Caroline Descours applauds the sisters’ positive attitudes.

“Stephanie is a very mature player,” she says. “Andrea is a really enthusiastic player and she adds a lot of fun to the team.”

Lowrie offers more praise.

“[Stephanie] is the most pleasant and polite person,” he says. “[Andrea] is a little bit more outgoing... so everyone on the team just gravitates to both of them.”

Unfortunately, the Mustangs won’t have Stephanie’s services next year. She reflected on her greatest accomplishment during her four years at Western.

“Ivey is a great school, and it’s great to be in there,” she says. “[But] all of the friendships I made playing volleyball " that is something really special.”

Stephanie also has great things to say about her sister.

“Andrea is really good at bringing the best out of her friends,” she says. “She’s a fun person to be around, and on the court she gets the job done.”

Andrea still has two years left with the ’Stangs and she has plans for those seasons.

“[My goal] for the team is to reach OUA Final Four every year,” she says. “[I want to] win a gold medal at least once before I leave.”

As the younger sister, Andrea looks up to Stephanie, as do other teammates.

“Everyone has so much respect for [Stephanie],” Andrea says. “She is a great role model for a lot of people.”

As Margaret Mead said, “Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship in the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.”

The Ruste sisters personify this sentiment.

“We get along really well on the court,” Stephanie says. “It’s off the court where we sometimes get sick of each other.”

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