WATERLOO — Gibault High's "Sister Act" has played a huge role in a winning script this season.
The Hawks, with 10 sisters on the team, are 12-5 entering their game against Mater Dei in the Freeburg Sectional at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The five pairs of sisters are:
*Michaela and Rebecca Muich (parents Bob and Patti Muich).
* Courtney and Carley Olson (parents Mike and Donna Olson).
* Bree and Abby Hasenstab (parents Tom and Corey Hasenstab).
* Hannah and Maddie O'Neill (parents David and Lynn O'Neill).
* Liz and Rachel Kuerz, who are twins (parents Kim and Diane Kuerz).
The Illinois High School Association doesn't track such statistics, but it's difficult to envision more than 10 siblings ever playing for the same team. Gibault coach Matt Reeb has enjoyed the unique experience of working with them.
"We've got a lot of strong-headed girls," Reeb said. "They came from soccer families. That's the whole thing. They just raised soccer girls. You can tell the soccer knowledge is there, the base (understanding). They've played club their whole life.
"They all have their own personal opinions, so as the boss and the coach, you've got to bring them back in. They do kind of get on each other, but they've all been playing at such a high level before. They know the game and they take it so seriously, which is good, obviously, from a winning standpoint."
Having a sister on the team comes with ups and downs, according to Courtney Olson, a junior. Carley Olson is a freshman.
"Me and my sister, we have a very on-and-off relationship," Courtney Olson said. "We don't hate each other, but we have the love-hate relationship. We both think we're better than each other. We're very competitive on the sister side. You can feel the sister vibes feeding off each other.
"A lot of the sisters work together. Me and my sister kind of butt heads a lot and some of the girls see it. It's nothing to us. Sometimes Coach Reeb will say, 'Guys, 10 pushups for fighting.' We're like, 'It's really nothing.' ... But (then) when some of the other sisters butt heads, we kind of know what's going on between them."
Despite such issues, Courtney Olson said she can't imagine not having Carley Olson on the field with her.
"I like having my sister on the team," she said. "It's fun to see my sister score and celebrate with her. And when she gets hit, it's always fun to stand up for her and tell the girl, 'Hey, don't hit my sister again or I'm going to come after you.'"
Bree Hasenstab, a junior, said her relationship with Abby Hasenstab, a freshman, is less contentious than the one shared by Courtney and Carley Olson.
"Me and my sister have a really good relationship," Bree Hasenstab said. "We don't really fight that often --or we try not to. If we do anything, we do it off to the side of the field. We'll tell each other what we did wrong, but normally on the field, we don't fight at all.
"That's kind of weird, but we have a good relationship. We help each other out because if we pick at each other, then we just get down. So we try to stay positive. It is a little weird (to have so many sisters). But our chemistry is really good."
Michaela Muich, the only senior among the sisters, agreed.
"It gives a family aspect to the team; you feel like you're just one big family," she said. "Also, my freshman and sophomore year I got to play with my sister (Chelsea) in her junior and senior years. So that was cool to start the year with her and end the year with my little sister (freshman Rebecca)."
Michaela Muich, with a laugh, said having so many sisters on the team "makes for a fun and interesting time."
"There are different personalities and attitudes of all the sisters," Michaela Muich said. "With my sister, we most of the time get along. It differs from day to day, but it's never boring."
Liz Kuerz is 17 minutes younger than her sister, Rachel. The sophomores have been together their entire lives, on and off the field.
"I think it's fun," Liz Kuerz said. "Sometimes personalities clash, but it's still fun. Sometimes I yell at Rachel a lot and tell her what to do, because I'm bossy. She doesn't care because she is a fun personality."
Rachel Kuerz could only smile.
"Well, I don't really like it," she said of being yelled at by her twin sister. "But we have that all the time at home anyway, so we kind of just get over it. I'll sit and take it just to keep the peace.
"It's easier to work with your sister because she'll tell you what you're doing wrong and you don't really get offended because that's your sister. She's just trying to help. So I think it's easier coming from Liz than it would be from somebody else on the team."
Feuds, spats and trivial differences, although a daily part of the team, are minimized by success, Reeb said.
"For the most part, if we stay on the winning side, they tend to enjoy playing together," Reeb said. "Winning cures everything."
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2665.