San Antonio – Three sets of twins share the unique bond of attending the University of the Incarnate Word together. Additionally, the six are also student-athletes with each playing the same sport as their sibling: sophomores Marco and Sophia Kermet are part of the men’s and women’s tennis programs, Ivette and Itzel Alcantar-Herrera, juniors, compete in cross country and track and Jordan and Hailey Goins are senior members of the softball team.
It was within the last month that the six learned of the existence of three twin sets competing in athletics, but despite the unlikelihood, Sophia was not surprised UIW landed these sibling student-athletes as it reinforces values she feels the school embodies.
“I think that just really showcased the family connection UIW has, how everyone is like so close and it’s like a family bond between all the athletes so it kinda just strengthened what I thought about UIW,” Sophia said.
From Lakeland, Florida, Sophia and Marco were homeschooled so that they could commit as many as 30 hours a week training, playing tennis or traveling to tournaments. Sophia was initially recruited to play at UIW and her brother reached out to the school afterwards upon realizing that both his prospective degree program, graphic design, as well as Division I tennis were housed within the university. That, coupled with fact his sister would also be attending the school, created the perfect scenario for him.
“The ultimate decision was UIW because it all lined up perfectly with her being there and graphic design and all that,” he said.
Ivette and Itzel didn’t begin competing in track or cross country until their junior year of high school in El Paso but have achieved success in their limited careers: Itzel was the UIL District 1-5A Champion in both the 800m and the 1600m at Burges High School while Ivette finished third at the 2020 Southland Indoor Championships in the 800m. When both decided to pursue track and cross country in college, they knew they would attend the same program.
“We come from like a really Hispanic family - we’re Mexicans - so my mom really wanted us to go together and it was really difficult for Hispanic culture to like picture one of them going on,” said Ivette. “So my coach was really looking for schools that recruited both of us instead of just one.”
Hailey and Jordan were standouts at Judson High School but were originally planning on attending separate colleges with Jordan committing to UT-Tyler. However, with her entire family living in the San Antonio area, Jordan decided she wanted to attend UIW with sister.
“Everyone is going to be home,” Jordan said. “We live in San Antonio so my family is all here. She’ll be staying here. At the time, my brother would have been a senior in high school and I would have been like the only one like five hours away and I was like, ‘I’m not ready to leave everyone yet’ and so like I just took a chance and it ended up working out so and we both go to go to the same school.”
Although playing the same sport as your sibling can be tough, in having a twin to compete against has provided all six student-athletes with not only a competitor, but a motivator and confidant.
“We’re really competitive with each other so sometimes it can be fun, but sometimes it can go a little overboard. But like now what we’re older, we know when to like push and when to like stay quiet,” Jordan said. “We always push each other, so it’s like we’re always there for each other at the same time too.”