Girls Tennis: Providence’s Ruane twins will double(s) up at McKendree University
By Jeff Vorva For Sun-Times Media April 4, 2014 6:02PM
Maggie (left) and Kelly Ruane decided not to mess with the success they had the past three years as doubles partners at Providence and will stay together four more years after they verbally committed to McKendree University. | Supplied photo
Updated: May 8, 2014 9:38AM
They couldn’t do it.
They toyed with the idea but they just couldn’t do it.
Having Providence twin tennis stars Maggie and Kelly Ruane split up and go to different colleges was an option that briefly was considered.
In the end, the two Mokena residents weren’t going to mess with success. The Ruanes started looking at colleges together and have made verbal commitments to attend Division II McKendree University in downstate Lebanon. They plan on signing their National Letters of Intent on April 16.
“We thought about splitting up if we wanted to go do different colleges,” Maggie said. “But we both wanted the same thing, so we started visiting schools together. We came to a point where we narrowed out choices down. We thought
McKendree would be the right fit for both of us.
“We like that it’s a smaller school and it’s not that far away. It’s going to be hard to leave my family, but knowing I have my sister with me makes it a lot easier.’’
The pair didn’t start playing doubles together until their sophomore year at the New Lenox school. As freshmen, Maggie was a singles player while Kelly was paired with Kathleen Kennedy. That doubles team qualified for the state tournament.
But once Celtics coach Ben Thompson paired the sisters, it didn’t take long for the Ruanes to taste success.
In a three-year span, they racked up 103 victories, two sectional championships and qualified for the state tournament all three years. They were 5-5 in state tournament play, including a 2-2 mark in 2013, when they won their first- and second-round matches.
The Ruanes could have played another match or two at state their junior year but weather wiped out the consolation rounds.
They were eight-time champions in regular-season quads or individuals.
Their game isn’t exactly identical, but it works out well. Maggie is a left-hander who is better in the back. Kelly is a right-handed player who enjoys success hanging around the net.
“It’s kind of cool, because it’s something that others don’t get to experience. It’s really special,” Maggie said of playing with her twin. “It’s a lot of fun.’’
“There’s no one more that I want to play doubles with than Maggie,” Kelly said. “We really connect well. We play well together. Sometimes we fight but we always work things out.’’
McKendree is enjoying success this season. The Bearcats were victorious in their first 12 matches, and had a four-match streak which they won via sweeps. Entering April they were 14-3 with 11 shutouts.