Side by Side Sisters
Once competitiors, Blue Pony tennis standouts Kadyn and Cassidy Acor are teaming up
Last updated 4/26/2019 at 11:23am
Watching your children play sports is nerve-racking. There is no question about it, but imagine having to watch your children compete against each other, with the winner ending the season for the other.
Well, for the Acor family, that has been a reality over the past couple of seasons of Havre High tennis, as the Acor sisters, Kadyn, a senior, and Cassidy, a junior, were each singles players for the Blue Ponies prior to this season, which forced the sisters to go head-to-head on more than one occasion.
"It's tough," Kadyn Acor said. "We just try to do our best and be happy for the other person no matter who wins. We just try to be happy for each other."
Last season, the Acor sisters ending up facing each other at the Central A Divisional tournament in the loser-out part of the bracket. Cassidy won her first singles match of the tournament, while Kadyn fell in hers. However, Kadyn responded with a win to keep her tournament alive, only to face off against Cassidy next, with the loser going home for the season.
Kadyn was able to beat her younger sister in that match, before falling a couple wins short of reaching the state tournament.
"I felt a little bad beating her," Acor said. "But we try to be positive and cheer for each other."
"It's been tough the last couple of seasons watching them go through having to play each other at divisionals," longtime HHS head coach George Ferguson said. "I mean, tennis is first an individual sport, but is also a team sport, and when you get to divisionals, chances are, you're going to have to play a teammate at some point, and our kids all know that going in. But for two sisters to have to play each other with so much at stake, it's tough, it's uncomfortable, it's really hard. Anytime our kids go head-to-head at divisionals, we as coaches stay out of those matches. There's no coaching, and none of players are watching those matches. But I have to stay, when Kadyn and Cassidy have had to play each other, I think I even stayed farther away from those matches than others, and had no clue who won until one of them reported it to me.
"I have to say, though, both of those girls, they have handled those situations really well. They're very close, and they handled it so well, and that impressed me. But then again, both of them are very impressive young ladies."
As tough as last year was, thankfully, at least as far as their parents are concerned, it will be the last singles match the sisters play against each other as Blue Ponies. That's because this season, the two sisters that have also played volleyball side-by-side for the last years for the varsity team, have joined forces as doubles partners and so far, the results have been promising.
"We are enjoying it," Cassidy Acor said. "It's a great chance for us to spend some quality sister time together. So far, we have only lost to Hardin, so it's been going pretty well."
Obviously, it has been an adjustment for both of the Acor sisters who are used to playing singles, but they have been working on merging their games together for doubles.
"It was different," the older Acor sister said. "But we are learning how to work together and play with each other."
"It was definitely an adjustment," younger sister Cassidy added. "It was a change, but we are learning to work better together and do a better job of communicating with each other, especially around the net."
The Acors playing doubles together has been something Ferguson has hoped would happen for even longer than when they were in high school.
"Kadyn started coming to middle school tennis, and I saw, she had a lot of potential, then, right before she was going to be a freshman, Cassidy came with her to tennis camp. I had never met or seen Cassidy before, and I was like, wow, what a doubles team those two would make. So they had the wheels turning in my head about it before they were even Blue Ponies.
"At first, though, it just didn't happen. Kadyn did so well in singles her freshman year, and then Cass came in right behind her and did the same as a freshman," Ferguson added. "And at the same time, we kind of had three pretty established doubles teams, and, I don't think they were ever certain they wanted to do it the past two years. So, I didn't force it, or push them to it. I let them kind of figure it out for themselves."
Now, the Acors are indeed figuring it out.
"They're pretty much becoming the doubles team I always envisioned," Ferguson said. "They are tall, they are powerful, and they play really well at the net. That's pretty much a huge advantage in doubles. They're doing great, and it's fun to see them finally playing together."
While the sisters have a stated a goal of trying to reach the Class A state tennis tournament in May, beyond that, this season offers them one last opportunity to enjoy their time together as teammates, particularly since they are now playing doubles.
"That's probably the best part is getting to spend time with each other," Kadyn Acor said. We spend a lot of our time playing sports so it's nice that we can share that time together. It makes it a lot of fun."
One thing that will be nice for the entire Acor family is that when divisionals roll around this year, there will be no possibility of seeing Acor vs Acor lined up again on the bracket. Their parents will get to enjoy watching their daughters play alongside each other, instead of against each other and if all goes to plan for the Acor sisters, their parents will get to watch them at the state tournament this spring, too, not just at divisionals.
"Getting to state is our goal," Cassidy Acor said. "If we could do that playing together, that would really mean a lot."
But even if they don't reach their ultimate goal, the Acor sisters have already made memories that will last them a lifetime and in the end, that's worth more than anything they can achieve on the tennis court.
"It has made us closer together," Kadyn Acor said. "Being able to spend that time together has been nice."
"It's really cool," Ferguson said. "They are such great girls individually. They are different, and unique, and they are both so much fun to coach and be around. I'm so thankful I've gotten that opportunity the last four years. But now, watching them become a team, that's really special. It's really special for me, and it's special for them. I'm happy they're doing it. It's going to be something they can share for the rest of their lives, and I'm just glad I'm there to see it. They're awesome kids, and they're an awesome team."