The Brigham Young University volleyball team has a No. 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row but this year will feel different for juniors Lacy and Lyndie Haddock. The bleacher seat of their No. 1 fan — their father — will not be filled.
But that difference gives the Haddock twins a reason to work harder.
Lacy and Lyndie Haddock were at a volleyball retreat when they found out their 53-year-old dad had died suddenly from a blood clot in his leg.
Just three days later, they returned to the volleyball court.
“Our dad would not have wanted us to sit out any longer — he probably was mad that we took any days off,” Lacy Haddock said.
His encouragement was a motivating factor throughout their volleyball career. After her dad’s death, Lacy Haddock rewatched the 2016 tournament game against Texas to recapture his love of the game.
“My parents, brother and sister were in the third row watching, and I saw my dad’s passion,” she said. “He cared so much about (volleyball) because we cared so much about it. I don’t think he would have liked volleyball if we didn’t. He loved whatever his kids loved.”
They knew returning to the court would make their father happy, and with that they also found a way to cope.
“Our team needed us to keep going even though it was hard,” Lyndie Haddock said. “I think it definitely kept my mind off of it when I was playing.”
The twins’ love of volleyball began with family. Their older sister, Tambre, whose volleyball career also included time at BYU, taught them to play in middle school. In sixth grade, the girls traveled from their home at the time in Longmont, Colorado, to their first BYU camp. When they were juniors at Timpview High School, BYU offered them both a spot on the team.
“We thought it was unrealistic that we’d both get to play at a good school together because it’s not really heard of ... It was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” Lyndie Haddock said.
During this season filled with grief, they have relied on each other, on the sport, on the team and on their faith as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“If I had not known that I would see my dad again, I don’t know how I could go on,” Lacy Haddock said. “I don’t know if I have a knowledge of everything, but I know I have faith.”
Their faith has gotten them through the moments when the answers haven’t come.
“Sometimes you’re going to get that miracle, and sometimes you don’t get that miracle,” Lyndie Haddock said. “In our case, we didn’t get a miracle at all ... but I was able to have the knowledge before my dad died that families can be sealed together ... Until I see my dad again, it’s relying on my faith that someday I’m going to know why this had to happen to my family and me at this time.”
With the tournament beginning this weekend, Lacy and Lyndie Haddock are living the same work ethic emulated by their father during his life and putting in more effort than ever before.
“He always told us, ‘Do your best, and no matter what happens, you’ll be satisfied, the Lord will be happy with you and I’ll be happy with you,’” Lacy Haddock said.
And by doing their best, Lacy and Lyndie Haddock will honor their father’s memory on the court.