For Coweta Head Volleyball Coach Tony Ramos, setting the siblings straight became a common occurrence.
Former Coweta High seniors and Large East All-Star Volleyball players, Alexxia Mercer and Kaycee Stiles may not be related—but they both had siblings in the program around the same time. Mercer’s twin, Allyson, was a standout on the Coweta volleyball squad at the same time. Stiles’ sister, Heather, graduated last year and was an All -State center.
“It was challenging,” Coach Ramos said with a laugh. “But I wouldn’t want it any other way. When you get sisters competing, they are competitive. They want to out-shine the other one. But at the same time, they use that to help each other out.”
This was the first season in Coach Ramos’ head-coaching tenure to have two girls on the All-State roster in the same year.
Mercer played six years for Coweta volleyball and joined varsity as a sophomore. Coach Ramos said she was a catalyst on offense, leading the team on kills in the 2021 season. Her twin, Allyson, also had the numbers to be “all-state status,” according to Coach Ramos.
She also juggled being a standout in basketball. She was selected as a Tulsa World All-State honorable mention in April.
Six-foot, Mercer would be the first to tell you it wasn’t easy prepping for two sports.
“There were hard days,” Mercer said. “Summers were especially hard because of summer camp for both sports. At the same time, it was a lot of fun because I was never bored.”
She plans to go to The University of Oklahoma to focus on school in the fall with her twin sister, Allyson, by her side. Allyson was also selected as a Tulsa World honorable mention for basketball in April.
“It is so amazing and sad because it is my last time playing volleyball representing Coweta and last time playing volleyball in general,” she said. “It’s very bittersweet.”
As for Stiles, she started on the varsity volleyball squad even earlier—as a freshman. In 2021, she was what Coach Ramos calls, “the team’s defensive leader” and the class 5A defensive player of the year.
She’ll be continuing her volleyball career at First Scott Community College, in Fort Scott, Kansas and will continue to compete with her sister. Heather Stiles currently studies and plays volleyball at Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas.
“My sister and I are best friends so playing each other on the court and being with her all the time—and our competitive spirts were just – we butt heads a lot but we never get actually mad at each other,” Stiles said.
Stiles said getting all-state has always been a goal of hers. She said she didn’t know how she was going to do it, but she was going to get there. Then when her sister, Heather, made all-state last year, it became even more apparent –she had no choice. It had to happen.
And she did.
Allyson Mercer was not able to play in the 2020 All-State game(s) due to COVID -19 canceling it, so Kaycee is playing for big sis, as well.
She plans to major in criminal justice and play volleyball on the side. Her goal is to play for two years at Fort Scott and (hopefully) get a scholarship to play at a university.
“This will be the first year in a while without the Mercer twins or the Stiles sisters,” Ramos said. “Trying to continue that success will be kind of hard, but our girls work hard. Hopefully we will continue that success and play at a high level.”
Coweta had a 23-8 record last year. Since 2017, their record has been 117-40.
The 2021 All-State volleyball game between the state’s Large West and Large East teams will be played at Bixby High School, July 27 at 7:45 p.m. The small school game will be played at 6:30 p.m.
Coach Ramos was selected to coach the Large East team.