Taylor Twins Big Reason for Chelsea Tennis Success
The Chelsea girls' tennis team is long known for its strong doubles play and this year is no exception as all four doubles teams will be high seeds if they qualify for the state finals.
The Bulldogs are ranked second in the state in Division 3 and one of the big reasons for the team's success is the play of the three-doubles team.
This is not your ordinary doubles team, the Chelsea three-doubles team is freshmen twins Brenna and Lucy Taylor.
Despite being freshmen, the Taylors have rolled to an 18-3 record on the season, with two of the losses coming to doubles teams from the defending Division 1 state champion Ann Arbor Pioneer and D3 state champion Cranbrook Kingswood. Two of the losses have also come in three-set tiebreakers.
"Since we played varsity field hockey in the fall, I think that we both have gotten used to playing older and more experienced players," Lucy said. "So when it came to tennis, we didn’t feel as intimidated."
The Taylors started playing tennis 5 years ago. "We started by doing a tennis summer camp in fourth grade with Coach Pedlow through Chelsea Community Education and hitting with our family," Brenna said.
They started taking private lessons from Coach Craig Calderone six months ago. "This has really helped us improve our shots and our overall tennis performance," Brenna said. "We also like to go and hit with our friends during the off-season. We hit a lot with Sam Bieber, who is the other freshman on the varsity team" and the team's number-two singles player.
The Taylors have played as individuals in some off-season tournaments, but they prefer to play doubles with each other as partners.
"I enjoy playing doubles with Brenna because it helps me take the pressure off during our matches," Lucy said. "We both understand that we are trying our best but there are times when we may not perform as well as we would like."
Brenna agrees, preferring to be Lucy's doubles partner. "It’s nice to play with Lucy because at this point I can anticipate what she will do, whether on the tennis court or on the field hockey pitch because we have always played on the same teams."
Being a freshman and playing varsity can be a bit overwhelming at times, but Chelsea coach Rahn Rosentreter has a knack for calming the girls down. "Coach Rahn called us over during a match, and we thought he was going to talk with us about strategy," Lucy said. "But instead, he told us an entertaining story about a snake in South Africa."
The girls enjoy watching tennis as much as playing the game. "One of my favorite tennis memories is watching high-level tennis with our friend Sam, such as the Michigan women's team play, or last year's D3 state finals," Brenna said.
It is known that the Taylors are excelling as doubles partners, but the big question is who wins when they play head-to-head?
"We have only played head-to-head a couple of times, but every time we play it lasts for multiple hours, so we try not to do it often," Brenna said. "The last time was at the Make-A-Wish Tournament in August when it was very hot, and our match lasted close to 3 hours. There has not been a consistent winner when we play against each other, so we are not sure who would win now. We like it better when we play with each other!"