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Doyle twins get call to Hall

November 23, 2011|By WILL ROBINSON | Staff Correspondent
  • The Doyle twins -- Tessa, left, and Mia -- pose with Wilson College's Phoenix mascot.
Submitted photo

Twins Mia and Tessa Doyle have been immortalized in the Wilson College Gwendolyn Jensen Athletic Hall of Fame for their accolades on the tennis court.

In two years of competition at Wilson, the Doyles, both Smithsburg High School graduates, compiled a doubles record of 20-1 and won the North Eastern Athletic Conference title in 2011 as the No. 1-seeded team, going undefeated. As singles competitors, Tessa went 18-3, including a 10-0 2011 campaign in which she won the NEAC championship at No. 2 singles. Mia had back-to back 9-1 seasons, winning the 2010 NEAC title at No. 1 singles, which also earned her the 2010 NEAC Most Outstanding Player award.

“We are honored and humbled to be inducted into Wilson College’s Hall of Fame,” said Mia.

The many accolades earned by the Doyle sisters on the court would make it seem as though they have played tennis their entire lives, when in actuality they were originally soccer players.

“We didn’t pick up tennis until we were in high school,” said Mia. “We were players on Smithsburg’s back-to-back girls soccer state championship teams in 2005 and 2006.”

The Doyles attribute their soccer backgrounds to the success they had as doubles competitors. After high school, they attended Hagerstown Community College, where they played No. 1 doubles in 2008 and 2009, qualifying for nationals in 2009. They also found success in singles competition.  

“We were mostly doubles partners, but our coaches, Duc Trien and Bob Boone, changed our game a lot to prepare us for the college level,” Mia said.

Those changes earned Tessa the 2009 regional championship at No. 1 singles and Mia a trip to nationals at No. 2 singles.

The Doyles kept rolling when they went to Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa., but not without hitting some bumps on the road. The Doyles experienced a tough loss in the 2010 NEAC doubles championship as the No. 1 seed, falling to the last-seeded team. That loss only added fuel to the their fire.

“That loss only made us more determined to win,” Mia said. “We wanted to end our careers on a good note, and that’s exactly what we did. It fueled our singles careers as well.”

That determination, along with Wilson College coach Mike Ricker, groomed the Doyles into leaders on their team. With Mia and Tesss at the helm, the Wilson College tennis team earned a trip to the NEAC team championships in 2011.

“We said a trip to the team championships was possible from day one. We didn’t like that it was just Tessa and I going to the championships. We kept a positive team culture along with working many drills,” said Mia. “We were excited for the opportunity, we love our teammates and we wanted them to have the same feeling that we did.”

With their entrance into Wilson College’s Hall of Fame, Mia and Tessa said they feel as though they are contributing to the exposure of Washington County’s athletic programs.

“We have pride in Washington County’s athletic programs, especially the tennis program since it isn’t exactly as popular as some other sports.” Mia said. “No matter when you start a sport, you can still excel as long as you work at it. You don’t have to be a Division I athlete to make a difference.”

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