Dual Championships Put Happy Faces on Harvard-Westlake's Smiley Twins

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They are twins at Harvard-Westlake High.

They are part of several Wolverine playoff victories, memorable moments that have changed the school's athletic history.

And their last name isn't Collins.

Meet juniors Stacie and Ryan Smiley.

Stacie recently won a state Division III title as a member of the girls' volleyball team and Ryan is chasing a state title of his own on the boys' basketball team.

They each have won a Southern Section title, something almost taken for granted this year in the Smiley household.

Nevertheless, the concept of twin champions is impressive.

"I don't ever recall seeing or hearing that happen," Harvard-Westlake volleyball Coach Jess Quiroz said. "It's not an everyday occurrence."

That might explain why Ryan was a tad envious Stacie had first crack at a state title.

But rivalry led to revelry when Ryan realized the importance of a state championship to his sister and her teammates.

"He got over it," Stacie said.

The volleyball team became the school's first state champion with a sweep over San Jose Del Mar earlier this month.

The boys' basketball team, which itself is anchored by a pair of talented twins--Jason and Jarron Collins--reached the state semifinals last season and could go further this season.

"I'd love to even the score," Ryan said. "Our goal this year is to win state."

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Stacie was one of the last players selected to play varsity, but Quiroz is glad he chose her.

"If I hadn't taken her, it would have been the worst mistake ever," Quiroz said.

Stacie, a 5-foot-10 middle blocker, played a key role during the State playoffs, most notably in the quarterfinals against Lemoore.

Starter Bettina Korek suffered a bloody nose during pre-match serving drills and Smiley capably replaced her for the beginning of the match.

"She's really come a long way," Quiroz said.

Ryan also has made strides.

Last season, the 6-4 guard was called up to the varsity when the junior varsity season ended.

He played sparingly during the Wolverines' run to the Southern Section Division III-A title, but his minutes increased in the State Division III playoffs.

Ryan came off the bench in the first quarter of the quarterfinal game and had 12 points and six assists in the Wolverines' victory over Tulare Western.

His playing time and point production have increased this season for the Wolverines, who are 7-1.

Sports and statistics aside, Stacie and Ryan almost didn't attend the same school.

The Smileys live a block away from Harvard-Westlake, which used to be simply Harvard, an all-boys' school.

That would rule out Stacie attending.

But Westlake, an all-girls' school, merged with Harvard and the schools opened their doors together in 1990-91.

Ryan and Stacie were in the first seventh-grade class at Harvard-Westlake.

In the eyes of their parents, Bruce and Wendy Smiley, the Harvard-Westlake union easily overshadows more-talked-about mergers in the business world.

"I didn't have to convince my wife to send them to different schools," Bruce Smiley said.

"Wendy and I are very, very much conscious about our kids getting a quality education and we're fortunate enough that they were able to get into this school together."

Now, they not only attend school together.

They win together.

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