It was three years ago when Morgan Sherwin was scrolling through her Twitter feed and saw the Philadelphia Flyers account post about an upcoming volleyball tournament to be held at the annual Trial on the Isle in Stone Harbor.
She told her friend, Shannon Thomas, about the event, resulting in the two immediately filling out their registrations form. They hit the send button, anticipating nothing more than a fun experience.
Little did they know that they were on the brink of creating a dynasty.
Sherwin, a native of Copley (Pa.), is a freshman at Quinnipiac University who has played volleyball competitively for six years. Thomas, who resides in West Chester, is currently in her eighth year of volleyball and will head to Saint Francis University in the fall to play for their program.
The pair won their third consecutive volleyball tournament title at the Trial on the Isle on Wednesday.
“All the guys are really easy to play with,” Thomas said. “They are competitive which makes it so much more fun. The first year we played in the tournament we never expected to win so it's always so much fun coming back because each year the competition is harder and harder.”
For each tournament, a pair of fans are placed with a pair of Flyers prospects. In their first two years, goaltender Merrick Madsen was on their team. Casey Nelson rounded out the squad in year one while fellow goaltender Matej Tomek came along the second year.
Madsen, of course, is now in Arizona as part of the Nick Cousins trade prior to the draft so that left the duo with new teammates. The lucky prospects chosen to play with Sherman and Thomas were Oskar Lindblom, Pascal Laberge and Matthew Strome (a team of five).
Through six different teammates over three years, Sherman and Thomas have built up quite the reputation.
“There's definitely a lot of pride,” Thomas said. “Each year there's more pressure to win because we have a target on our back because the guys want to beat us.”
This time around, they had the pleasure of knocking off former teammate, Tomek, in the finals.
“It's a lot of fun seeing the guys and playing with them each year,” Sherman said. “Especially since we were paired up with Merrick for two years in a row and then seeing Tomek this year after playing with him the previous year was a lot of fun.”
The pair is already planning on defending their crown once again next July and expanding upon the dynasty on the sand they have going. They know the prospects are the ones drawing the attention, but they have no problem being the ones to steal the show.