By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Like All-State, the girls’ tennis program is in good hands for the next three seasons with two up-and-coming talented sophomores heading up the list.
Twin sisters Taylor and Olivia Cox formed a doubles tandem that caught the eye of several area coaches in District play as freshmen in 2017.
The duo lost only one match during the regular season, playing second in the picking order for the Longhorns.
Their biggest accomplishment was upsetting the No. 1 seeded doubles team from Sullivan East in district play. The Patriots duo was unbeaten going into District tournament play and won the same event in 2016.
But that didn’t intimidate the Longhorns’ “Sister Act.”
Taylor said they gained confidence as the match went on.
“I didn’t think we had a chance to beat them because they were undefeated and they won it last year,” said Taylor. “We basically got the worst draw possible. They set us up to fail but we pulled together and surprised everyone. We beat South pretty good in the first game and that was the confidence booster we needed coming into this match.”
The Cox sisters lost the first set 3-6. Their dad, Craig, saw Olivia pointing her finger and talking to Taylor in the corner before the second set began. Olivia smiled when I asked her what was said.
“It was in the heat of the moment,” said Olivia. “The East game was a tough battle the entire match. We lost the first one 3-6, then we won the next two 6-1 and 6-4. I might have gotten a bit too confident. I was going into Taylor’ court some and that’s probably why they got back in it. We were super excited about playing them.”
Olivia showed her excitement when they pulled off the upset.
“I took off running up the steps waving my arms. I was so happy that we had made it to the semifinals.”
Taylor laughed about her sister’s celebration.
“I kept looking for Olivia on the court after shaking hands and then I saw her excited and going up the stairs. It was a great feeling to know they had won it before and had beaten our No. 1 team earlier in the season. Beating Sullivan South in the first round was special too.”
The Cox twins were confident when the season began due to their tennis background and training.
“We practice a lot with our dad,” said Olivia. “This was our first year playing competitively against other teams, but we felt comfortable from practicing so much together. Our seniors, Gracie May and Ashton Henson, really pushed us and made us better.”
May and Henson played in the No. 1 doubles spot and were able to reach the regional. It’s the same goal that both sisters are hoping to reach next year.
“We try and be competitive in the sports that we play,” said Taylor. “In tennis we have to rely on each other so much.”
Olivia added, “I have a horrible backhand so I’m working on that. I switch hands a lot which is something that I shouldn’t do. I’m trying to eliminate that.”
To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.