NAUGATUCK — Stefani and Kait Barry have been teammates in softball and volleyball for the Naugatuck Greyhounds over the last four seasons. The twin-sister act has helped Naugy to succeed on the court and in the field.
The Barry girls followed in the footsteps of older sister Krista, who played volleyball for the Greyhounds as the twins were entering high school. Krista is now studying at Naugatuck Valley Community College and will be transferring to Western Connecticut to complete her nursing degree.
“My husband Jeff and I are so proud of the accomplishments of all our girls,” Lyn Barry said. “We have the added memory of Krista in her senior year playing in a varsity match with her twin sisters when they were just sophomores. Seeing all three of them out their playing together was certainly a thrill for us as parents.”
The twins also have the added thrill of having the fourth Barry sister on the sideline with sophomore Alyssa serving as the Naugatuck volleyball manager. In her freshman year, Alyssa also played for the freshman and JV softball teams.
The rivalry in the Barry household growing up has allowed the four girls to become accomplished athletes and best friends. The competition among the sisters actually pushed them to become better athletes and stressed the teammate factor that has helped Naugatuck to become successful.
Stef and Kait began as softball players at St. Francis and in the Union City Little League playing on the Yankees. They went on to play Lil Pal basketball for the Shockers.
Last spring the Barry twins helped Naugatuck softball to a 14-6 regular-season record. Stefanie played at second base and Kait was a catcher and outfielder. This season the Naugatuck volleyball team is on a roll at 15-3 with Stef and Kait playing integral roles in the team’s achievements.
“Kait and Stef are a wonderful pair,” said Kevin Wesche, who coaches both volleyball and softball. “Their contrast in style offers a true compliment of personality and work ethic that makes them a pleasure to coach, teach and converse with. I have been blessed to coach them now at three levels of competition in two sports. Together they provide the team with the needed dynamic duo, a force that covers the spectrum of true leaders.”
Kait is the more serious of the two and is affectionately referred to as Colonel Kait. She keeps the team and her coach on the straight and narrow. Stef is a little more laid back and easygoing, able to laugh off a difficult situation and move on.
“Playing on the same team as your sister is pretty cool because we know we have each other’s back,” Stef said. “I think the sibling rivalry thing actually challenged us to be better athletes. When we are out there on the court of in the field we are teammates first and we put the sister thing in the background.”
“I didn’t really see our competing against one another growing up as a rivalry thing,” Kait added. “It was more of an opportunity to challenge each other to get better. Stef is the setter and I’m the defensive specialist/outside hitter on the volleyball court. I think playing sports together not only has helped us to excel in competition but also academically.”
The pair will not be competing at the collegiate level as they are both taking the academics seriously and moving in two different directions. Stef will be pursuing a career in teaching at Mount St. Mary’s.
“My grandfather and aunt were teachers,” Stef said. “I like to help people, and what better way than to become a teacher?”
Kait, a corps commander in the Junior ROTC, will be heading to the Air Force Academy.
“I’m looking forward to the rest of this season and softball in the spring,” Kait said. “We have a great bunch of girls and we have great chemistry and coaching.”
Naugatuck will play Seymour Saturday in the quarterfinals of the NVL tournament at 5:30 p.m. at Torrington High School.
As Naugatuck prepares to do battle in the volleyball postseason, the team is playing at a high level. How far it goes may be decided by the Barry factor.