Last season’s Class 4A girls tennis state championship match came down to North Oconee High School’s number one singles player Lindsay Tulenko and the Marist School’s top singles player.
A banged up Lindsay lost her first match of the season. She walked to the bench emotional after watching another team celebrate the state title after the Lady Titans had won the previous three titles, two of which Lindsay had been a part of.
The first person to her side was predictable. It was her twin sister Jenna Tulenko there to deliver her typical words of encouragement.
“She’s my biggest cheerleader,” Lindsay said. “Everyone on the team is very supportive but Jenna always knows the right thing to say. She knows what’s going to get me hyped up or what’s going to make me focused.”
Throughout their tennis careers the Tulenko twins have been nearly inseparable. It wasn’t until Jenna moved away from playing tournament tennis outside of high school and focusing more on basketball that every time they stepped on the tennis courts that the twins experienced the sport without one another.
Growing up they were doubles partners. Last season and this season they have held down the number one and number two singles positions for the Lady Titans.
“It’s nice that we get to play beside each other because we can hype each other up and have a good laugh if we’re feeling down,” Jenna said.
The constant proximity during matches has pushed both Jenna and Lindsay. Lindsay admits she plays a little defensively at times. The more aggressive Jenna will jokingly ask for a more attacking version of sister during matches.
“She’s always told me to just slap a winner,” Lindsay said. “Jenna just goes for it. She’ll just slap the ball even if it goes to the fence. She’ll say ‘you need to be like me and slap the ball’. We mix well with each other. I think she’s more extroverted than I am and I’m a little more introverted.”
Both twins earned (6-0, 6-0) wins in the Lady Titans’ win over Madison County High School on Thursday.
Their performance has made them this week’s Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athletes of the Week.
Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week is chosen by the sports staff of The Oconee Enterprise. You are welcome to email nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday at 10 a.m.
Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation can be reached at www.oconeept.com