Chang family sends 3 sisters to World Military Volleyball tournament in Edmonton

Kelsey, Cassidy and Delanie Chang no longer live under the same roof, but this week the sisters from Ladner, B.C., reunite in Edmonton when they play for Team Canada at the World Military Volleyball Championships.

Siblings from B.C. to play for Team Canada at international tournament

Sisters Cassidy, left, Kelsey, centre, and Delanie Chang are all members of Team Canada at the World Military Volleyball Championships this week. (Canadian Armed Forces)

Kelsey, Cassidy and Delanie Chang no longer live under the same roof, but this week the sisters from Ladner, B.C., reunite in Edmonton when they represent their country at the World Military Volleyball Championships.

The tournament, which brings together hundreds of military delegates and athletes from around the world, runs this week at the Edmonton Garrison's fieldhouse.

"I never imagined our volleyball career would go past high school," Kelsey Chang said Monday on CBC's Radio Active.

"It's a pretty awesome opportunity for us."

Cassidy and Delanie are 23-year-old twins who have long been inspired by their older sister, 28-year-old Kelsey.

Kelsey coached the twins when they were in Grade 8 and spent many hours hitting balls with them on the street.

"She wasn't easy on us at all," said Delanie, who will be an outside hitter for Team Canada. Cassidy is a setter and Kelsey will be the team's libero in the tournament.

All in the family

The three girls spent their childhoods competing with each other and their four other sisters in sports like soccer, basketball and swimming, as well as for bathroom access.

Kelsey followed a friend to the Royal Military College of Canada, and there she was recruited to play varsity volleyball. The twins began there a few years later and played with their sister on the volleyball team during their first year. 

This year marks the first time the three Chang sisters will play together for Canada at the military championships.

Kelsey has been with the team the longest, since 2011, and Cassidy joined the roster in 2014. Delanie played her first world championship at the tournament last year in Mayport, Fla., where she ranked first in digs.

The Chang sisters are members of the Canadian Armed Forces. (Canadian Armed Forces)

Their parents are travelling to Edmonton to watch the tournament and enjoy a rare opportunity to see their daughters together.

The lieutenants are currently based in three cities: Kelsey is a naval reserve personnel selection officer in Ottawa, Cassidy is an air force aerospace engineer officer in Valcartier, Que., and Delanie is an air force logistics officer in Comox, B.C.

Canada hopes for podium finish

Delanie said she thinks her siblings' ability to read each other and work as a unit will be an advantage on the court this week.

Last year, the Canadian women placed a disappointing fourth at the tournament. China, United States and Germany won the gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively.

"This year, we know our strengths and our weaknesses," she said. "We believe we can make it all the way to the top."

Team Canada's women play Germany Monday at 7 p.m., while the men will play South Korea.

The playoffs start Thursday.

The matches will be streamed live here.