November 22, 2017

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Team Manitoba a twin power

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Manitoba’s Jon Laube (4), with sister Ashleigh (not pictured) are one of three sets of twins competing for the province at the Canada Games.</p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Manitoba’s Jon Laube (4), with sister Ashleigh (not pictured) are one of three sets of twins competing for the province at the Canada Games.

Manitoba might not be at the top of the medal standings at the Canada Summer Games — but the province does lead in having the most sets of twins competing.

There are 12 twins sets at the Games but Manitoba and Alberta are tied for the lead with three sets each.

During the first week of Games action, Manitoba had sisters Kearley and Josie Abbott hit the sand courts for beach volleyball. Week two features sisters Maddy and Emma Mitchell racing on the Red River in canoe and kayak, while fraternal twins Jon and Ashleigh Laube have been playing indoor volleyball.

“It’s awesome. I can watch her and she can watch me,” said Jon.

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Manitoba might not be at the top of the medal standings at the Canada Summer Games — but the province does lead in having the most sets of twins competing.

There are 12 twins sets at the Games but Manitoba and Alberta are tied for the lead with three sets each.

During the first week of Games action, Manitoba had sisters Kearley and Josie Abbott hit the sand courts for beach volleyball. Week two features sisters Maddy and Emma Mitchell racing on the Red River in canoe and kayak, while fraternal twins Jon and Ashleigh Laube have been playing indoor volleyball.

"It’s awesome. I can watch her and she can watch me," said Jon.

The Abbotts play at the University of Manitoba together with the Bisons and the Mitchells train together in their respective sports, but for the Laubes, the Canada Games marks the last time they will be representing the same side.

Jon will be playing for the Bisons’ men’s volleyball team while his sister will be at the other end of town at the University of Winnipeg playing for the Wesmen in the fall.

"We’ll still be able to cheer for each other, but I think mostly we’ll be cheering for our own school," said Jon, who was Volleyball Manitoba’s 17U player of the year in 2016.

Jon and Ashleigh got their start in the sport in Grade 6. They both fell in love with volleyball right away and proceed to play on club and school teams through graduation. They also help each other work on their game by playing beach volleyball at their cottage at Lester Beach.

They both captained their varsity volleyball teams at Fort Richmond Collegiate this past season and according to Ashleigh, her and Jon were very similar as captains.

"We’re silent leaders. We don’t like to yell a lot," she said.

They’re not identical twins, but when it comes to their personalities, there isn’t much of a difference, says Ashleigh. She believes volleyball suits them both and that they enjoy the sport for the same reasons.

"As soon as Grade 6 came, we were so excited and ready to (play volleyball). It’s not really aggressive with the other team and we’re not aggressive people and I think that’s why we love it so much. It’s really skill-based and we’re really into that kind of stuff," said Ashleigh.

For now, the twins are enjoying wearing the same colours. They both stick around to cheer each other on and want to see each other win medals for the province. But in a couple months, Jon says they won’t be as nice when they become cross-town rivals.

"We’ll talk some smack, for sure," he said.

taylor.allen@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @TaylorAllen31

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