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Campbell Sister Duo Powers Nationally Ranked Titans

Olivia Campbell (right) helps celebrate the 1,000 career point scored by her sister, Eliza, at UW-Stout earlier this season.
Olivia Campbell (right) helps celebrate the 1,000 career point scored by her sister, Eliza, at UW-Stout earlier this season.

Sisters Eliza Campbell and Olivia Campbell have spent years as teammates on the basketball court.

But those days are coming to a close as Eliza, a senior secondary education major at UW-Oshkosh, is nearing graduation and the start of a career in teaching.

"People always ask me what it's like playing with my sister and I never know what to say because I feel very used to it," Eliza said. "I have been playing with her for a lot of my time as a basketball player. When I was younger, she would play-up when we were short on players. Then in high school, she was on my team for two years and then now she is on my team. So, I guess it is fairly normal for me."

Olivia, a junior business major, joins her sister as a starter on head coach Brad Fischer's team. She said though she was recruited to play at UW-Oshkosh, she was hesitant to come to UW-Oshkosh because she didn't want to copy what her older sister did.

"Even though having Eliza on the team was the biggest reason holding me back, she ultimately was the reason I decided to attend UW-Oshkosh," said Olivia. "I was able to see a lot of her games and I met a lot of the girls on the team through Eliza and knew that if I came to UW-Oshkosh I would be on a great team with great teammates and friends. Also, I had been playing with Eliza for so long that it was normal for us to be teammates."

Both sisters admit, though, that being on the same team can lead to too much time together.

"We handle it well, but I'd be lying if I (didn't say) that sometimes we get sick of each other," Eliza said.

Olivia said she spends a lot of time at Eliza's off-campus house. She said she's learned a lot from her sister about how things are done and has had her nearby to answer questions.

"She is a really good player and makes the team better," Olivia said. "She's actually not too bad to hang out with either. It was really nice knowing that she had my back coming into school, and that I can always go to her if I needed anything."

Eliza describes her younger sister as a "defensive stopper" on the team while she is a scorer. Eliza believes she is more laid-back and reserved than Olivia.

Fischer said one might not know the two are sisters just by watching them.

"They are very different personalities and have very distinct skill sets," Fischer said. "But they are very supportive of one another and obviously know each other extremely well. They definitely have some competitiveness and work ethic, and that is a big reason why our program has been so successful."

Eliza, who leads the team this season with 12.4 points and 6 rebounds per game, said she hopes to make the NCAA Division III tournament and "make a run to win a trophy." The 11th all-time leading scorer in UW-Oshkosh history (1,163 career points) feels it's important for her to leave a mark on the program as a senior leader.

Olivia has averaged 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game this season while pacing the Titans with 73 assists and 44 steals. She also ranks among the team leaders in blocked shots and free throw percentage.

Eliza scored 10 points and tallied seven rebounds in UW-Oshkosh's 64-51 WIAC tournament victory over UW-River Falls on Tuesday (Feb. 20) while Olivia counted five points, five rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots. The Titans play at UW-La Crosse on Thursday (Feb. 22) in the semifinal round of the WIAC Championship.

Fischer said the team couldn't have accomplished what they have without the Campbell sisters, who both graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay.

"I can't imagine what it would be like if Olivia hadn't decided to join Eliza here. It's been very special."

Fischer said he is proud that the sisters will have shared memories and experiences as they can look back on the future.

"As they get older and have their own families they can look back on what they accomplished together in their athletic careers," he said. "They come from a very close family and there is no doubt in my mind that will continue in the future. I hope their experience at UW-Oshkosh helps make that bond even stronger."

Written by Laurie Schlosser, UW-Oshkosh University Marketing & Communications

Photo courtesy of Jim Campbell