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Nelson sisters to compete at different schools next year

NEW ULM — As sisters, Abby and Emma Nelson grew up competing with each other as teammates and friends. But beginning next school year, things will be a little bit different.

Emma and Abby both are seniors at Minnesota Valley Lutheran and Emma will attend Martin Luther College next fall to play volleyball and basketball. Abby, meanwhile, will play basketball at Bethany Lutheran College.

“I picked MLC because it’s a lutheran college and I really want to teach kids, I really love the people there and the atmosphere,” Emma Nelson said.

She didn’t get to see many games at MLC last year in either basketball or volleyball, but she’s looking forward to the challenge of playing two sports next year.

“It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but I’m really excited for it,” Emma Nelson said. “There’s a few athletes already that play two sports, some even play three, but I think it’ll be challenging and fun.”

This past year, Emma was named to the All-Journal First Team in basketball, passing 1,000 career points and rebounds at MVL. She averaged 15.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.9 steals per game for the Chargers and she shot 49 percent from the floor.

She also competed in track and field and she lettered and was all-conference since her freshman year, two-time captain and also was all-conference in volleyball her senior year.

In volleyball this past season, she finished with 200 kills, 260 digs and 47 ace serves.

“Emma has an incredible determination to do whatever is asked of her if it will benefit the team,” MVL girls’ basketball coach Rollin Timm said via email. “She has always responded to pressure situations and has been the athlete we could turn to in difficult situations. She was a four-year player in basketball and a two-year captain, this year’s MVP, two times all-conference and also being honorable mention her sophomore year. All this she did while maintaining academics that qualified her for academic all-state this basketball season.”

For Abby, she changed her mind and picked BLC.

“I was originally going to MLC, but I wanted to major in art education and MLC didn’t offer that, so I decided to go to Bethany so I still get a good education, a christian education along with the major that I was looking for,” she said.

Abby averaged 7.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game this past year in basketball.

In track, she too has lettered since her freshman year and has been all-conference every year and is a two-time team captain. In fall, she participated in cross country.

“Abby brings a high level of energy to anything that she does,” Timm said via email. “She has been known to be a ring-leader of fun and foolishness at times. As such, she brings her teammates together and provides a positive boost to team morale. She has been a solid contributor on the varsity basketball team since her sophomore year. When she relaxes and just plays the game, her athleticism was amazing to see.”

Both girls said it will be a little weird not being teammates next year.

“I think that no matter what team wins, we’re still going to know that we worked hard,” Abby Nelson said. “We’ve been playing 1v1 [1-on-1] at home so much, it’s going to be about the same but different because we’re on different teams. But I think it’ll be fun and an overall good experience.”

Emma Nelson is also excited for the future matchups.

“That’s going to be interesting, we’ve always been used to playing together,” Emma Nelson said of the future matchups. “I don’t know what it’s going to be like, we’re always going to be super competitive on the court but after the game is done, I know that we’re always going to be sisters and we still love each other.”

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