Chan sisters bring family atmosphere to Rock lacrosse

Published by adviser, Author: Jordyn Bennett - Assistant Sports Editor, Date: March 7, 2017
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When athletes join a team, they become a part of a family. For most, they are lucky to know anyone when they first become a part of a new program, but for SRU’s Chynna and Jordan Chan, family started for them a long time ago.

“I think growing up together made our competitiveness,” Chynna said. “No one wanted to be the worse sister; we always wanted to be the better sister.”

The Chan sisters both play lacrosse for Slippery Rock. Chynna, a senior exercise science major from Howell, NJ, came to SRU in 2013.

After receiving some playing time her freshman year, she became a vital part of the team, starting in every game since the beginning of her sophomore year and entering her final season as a team captain.

Her influence and leadership traveled from SRU back to New Jersey, where her younger sister, Jordan, said her sister being at The Rock played a major part in her decision to come here.

“It definitely helped a lot,” Jordan said. “She told me a lot of things to expect.”

Jordan, a sophomore exercise science major, said it was not as hard for her to adjust immediately as it was for other freshmen because of the help from her sister.

Her sister’s guidance helped her to see time on the field the entire season, playing in all 17 games her freshman year.

On paper, the Chan sisters seem the same. They are both lacrosse players and both exercise science majors; they’re the same height and they have the same last name. But as people, they are very different.

“She’s definitely the more open one out of the two of us,” Chynna said about her sister Jordan.

Jordan said that people can tell right away that she and her sister are different. She said their differences used to cause problems at home growing up.

“There was a point in time when my mom didn’t put us on the same level of the house,” Jordan said. “We used to fight a lot.”

Jordan said they still haven’t stopped arguing. It has crossed over from them as sisters to teammates occasionally arguing in practice or a game.

Jordan said it is usually over them criticizing one another, but she said it makes them better players even if they don’t want to hear it at the time.

As much as the sisters said about their differences, they both agreed that being together has made them better student-athletes and people.Their influence on one another trickled down into the development of the team, assistant coach Tommy Kelly said.

Kelly said that it has been a joy coaching the girls and they have made it easy to coach a family atmosphere when they bring an actual family to a team.

“It’s easy to preach family aspect because they’re already family,” Kelly said. “The sister thing is actually more of a compliment.”

Kelly said that their work ethic makes it easy for people to want to adjust to them, even though as people they have very different qualities.

Jordan had an early sense of how to be a hard worker and showed early signs of leadership, Kelly said.

He credits that to her sister Chynna, and said that it’s a good thing that the team can have that leadership spread out over the next couple of seasons.

“It’s good to have someone coming after her (Chynna),” Kelly said. “I think Jordan could take Chynna’s leadership to the next level.”

Jordan will have to show her leadership from the sideline this year. After suffering an ACL injury, she will not be able to be on the field with her sister in her last year. She has already had surgery.

While it is hard for her not to play, she said it’s going to be even harder when her sister isn’t there next season.

“It’s going to be very different,” Jordan said. “I feel like I won’t have that person to go to anymore.”

Chynna may not have the opportunity to ever touch the field in a Rock uniform with her sister again, but the way she has prepared and the impact she has had on Jordan will affect the SRU women’s lacrosse team for years to come.

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