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After helping the Indians’ girls’ tennis team reach a state final as a freshman, sophomore Molly Babbin is in the midst of her first full year with her twin sister Charlotte as her doubles partner and the tandem is having a solid season this spring. (Photo courtesy of Molly Babbin )
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It’s always beneficial for anyone who plays doubles tennis to have a close relationship with his or her partner in order to net some synergy for success. For the Indians’ Molly Babbin, she knows this through firsthand experience.
Molly, a sophomore at Guilford, started with tennis between the ages of 3 and 4 and hones her skills on the court virtually every day. Following a freshman season that saw her contribute to the Indians’ state final run, Molly has formed a solid tandem with her twin sister Charlotte and they’ve rattled off four-straight victories for a mark of 5-2 this spring.
“Having your twin sister as your partner is nice because you share a level of communication you wouldn’t normally have with others. We work more as a unit rather than two individuals,” says Molly, who’s also won one other doubles match. “We can also strategize well, such as like when her serve sets me up to have a good volley. It’s that communication factor that sets us apart.”
The siblings weren’t together from the get-go at Guilford as Molly played alongside a few other teammates before joining forces with Charlotte. Now that she and her sister are an established doubles duo, Molly can clearly see how well they complement each other.
“I played a few times at No. 3 doubles last season with other partners, but Charlotte and I teamed up and worked well together. [Head Coach] Chris Marra asked us to commit to being a doubles team, so we worked with him in workouts during the offseason,” Molly says. “She has a better backhand and I have a better forehand, so we know which sides to return on. She also has a better spin on her serve. She has the stronger serve, so with that, I get ready to take a weak return from the other side.”
Coach Marra says that Molly is a part of a special pairing of two girls who play strong on the court and are even stronger away from it in terms of being exceptional teammates.
“As a team, the girls on court are a strong team. They are very in sync with each other. They are also very outgoing and engaging with their teammates and very helpful to the new players on the team,” says Marra. “Both are very strong willed. Both are great listeners and are very smart. Both are funny and kind, as well.”
Having known her partner her entire life, Molly says there’s a comfort level when it comes to constructive criticism between them and that she and Charlotte are always working toward improving.
“Having her as a partner, I know her, so I’m less afraid of offending her when it comes to giving advice. After a point, we will evaluate it to get the next one. Having that communication skill, we know what we have to do in order to succeed,” says Molly. “Off the court, we live together, so we can really discuss a match in depth afterwards.”
After experiencing a deep postseason run for her first go-around with the Indians, Molly feels that Guilford can certainly replicate last year’s state final appearance, but adds that no opponent can be taken for granted.
“Everyone last year was real welcoming to me. The captains were always giving me advice. Having that success the first year gave me confidence because I knew I was a part of a great team. We also had great seniors, so they inspired me to play as good as them when I’m a senior,” says Molly, who thanks Coach Marra, her father Jeffrey, her older sister and Indians’ tennis alum Anna, and, of course, Charlotte. “We are also working on our footwork because, when you get tired, your footwork is off. The important thing is that we have to be ready to face the harder teams. We have to be open-minded and always try our best no matter who we play.”
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