Six years of two sisters being a varsity tennis duo


Elle Ryan

Taylor McLeod, who has been on the varsity tennis team since 7th grade, is getting ready to return a serve.

Making a varsity sports team is no small feat, especially as a 7th grader.  This is a big accomplishment that not many students can claim, but Paige and Taylor McLeod have this on their resumés.

The McLeod sisters are sad for this season to be their last on the varsity girls tennis team, as they have been on the squad since 7th grade and have even been multi-year captains as well.  “We have also been four year captains,” Paige said.

For many students that are on varsity throughout all of their high school career, they have started young and been playing for a long time.  The McLeod sisters share this characteristic, as they have been playing tennis for over ten years.  “We started playing tennis when we were five years old and have not set our racquets down since,” Taylor said.

Being on a high-pressure, high-powered team for this long teaches many life lessons to these athletes, shaping them for the rest of their lives.  “Tennis has taught us a lot about life both on and off the court.  We love that tennis is a lifelong sport.  We have learned about attitude, effort, and sportsmanship.  We have also learned to not only celebrate wins but learn from losses.  It is a great sport!” Paige said.

Much hard work is needed to be successful for so long at a varsity level, and the attitude of not being complacent with so much success at a young age is just as important as well.  “There’s so much to learn.  We always want to improve on every aspect of our games.  To make the team, we practiced all the time and played USTA tournaments year round,” Taylor said.

For the McLeod sisters, much more goes into making the team then just playing tennis, which will help them and longtime varsity athletes alike when it comes to collegiate athletics.  “Playing matches, working on skills and fitness & conditioning were all part of how we prepared for each season,” Paige said.

Playing at such a high level in high school opens doors for college athletics, but Paige and Taylor still have in mind academics as what is important.  “We are both interested in playing college tennis but want to be sure we find the right school and tennis program that allows us to keep our academic goals as our priority,” Taylor said.

Paige and Taylor would like to play for a Division III school, striving for a good fit for them to be part of a team and also be able to focus on academics.  “Playing in a D3 program would allow us to pursue our academic goals while still allowing us to be part of a team,” Paige said.

Tennis will always be part of the lives of the McLeod girls and it will be with them wherever they decide to go and whatever they want to pursue in life.  “Tennis is an awesome sport to play!  We see tennis as a part of our lives no matter where we go or what we do.  It’s a part of who we are!” Taylor said.

Their hard work and persistence on the court has culminated in the McLeod sisters qualifying for the State Tennis Tournament as a Doubles team in their final season wearing the BSM uniform.  State will be held on Thursday, October 29, at the University of Minnesota’s Baseline Tennis Center.