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Twin bonds are strong in Athletics

Twin bonds are strong in Athletics

Sometimes sibling rivalry can make each other stronger—and the bonds of being a twin are an added bonus. Cyclone Athletics had three sets of twins playing on three different teams in the same year: Amanda and Taylor Bulow on volleyball, Mary and Audrey Stocklen on tennis, and Julia and Kate Ruzevich on basketball. The Bulows are fraternal, and the others are identical.

When they all came together for a photo shoot, they couldn't help but talk about life as a twin since they don't run into too many. They commiserated but had plenty of love for their constant companion and teammate.


The Stocklens, who finished their sophomore season, were doubles partners in 2017. They've played tennis together since they started five years ago. Twins run in their family as they have an older brother and sister who are twins, and their grandfather was a twin.

What's the best part of competing with your twin?

Audrey: We weren't doubles partners this year, and it stinks. When we were partners, we worked together. It's weird not playing together. I don't know if it's because we've been together our whole life, but I pretty much share everything and know everything about her.

Mary: We're excited to see each other and say our stories.


What's the worst part of competing with your twin?

Mary: Fighting.

Audrey: Oh yeah, definitely fighting.

Mary: It's made us lose games.

Audrey: We get in each other's heads. I wouldn't yell at my teammate, but I don't feel bad yelling at her.


What's the best part of having a twin?

Mary: Having a best friend.

Audrey: You never feel bored...

Mary: Because you always have a friend. I always find myself talking to her. We do fight a lot though. You know in the news when they say a wife and husband die within a year of each other, we say that'll be us.


What can you say about your sister?

Audrey: Mary is more quiet and reserved, very sweet.

Mary: Audrey's sassy and nice. She always answers the questions, she just says it.

Audrey: I always answer with "I."

Mary: It's the same answers for us both, so I don't know why she doesn't say we.

Audrey: We're both real shy.

Mary: Audrey's always late, and I need to be on time.

Audrey: Every day before school is a fight.


What's next after Moraine Valley?

Audrey: We'll both go to ISU. I'm going to study some sort of business.

Mary: I think business education.



To look at Amanda and Taylor Bulow, people would never suspect they're even related. Between their hair, height difference and facial attributes, it's hard to guess they were born only a minute apart. But the freshmen worked together this fall to help their team earn a region championship and compete at nationals.

Have you two always played the same sport?

Amanda: We usually play the same sport. It's been softball and volleyball. We've played volleyball since fifth grade.

Taylor: Volleyball's the main sport. We played travel softball over the summer, and we played club volleyball, but we had to quit one.


What's the best part of competing with your twin?

Amanda: I always have somebody. We came to Moraine knowing one person.

Taylor: The connection. We connect more.

Amanda: We've been doing it for so long. She's been setting me since fifth grade. I'm outside and…

Taylor: I'm the setter.


What's the worst part of competing with your twin?

Taylor: We easily get mad at each other. Because we're sisters we can. We wouldn't do that to anyone else.

Amanda: Yeah, I'm like, learn how to set, get me the ball.


Do you two have any quirky twin activities or actions you do?

Amanda: We'll look at each other and do the same things.

Taylor: I remember we got an A on the same paper and we were like, "twins" and high fived.

Amanda: Things like that. On the court we do the same things, too.


What can you say about your sister?

Taylor: She's more of a homebody.

Amanda: She's outgoing, a social butterfly. Wherever she goes, she won't stop talking and making conversation.


What's next after Moraine Valley?

Taylor: I think we'll go to the same school. It'd be weird if we didn't.

Amanda: We're both undecided on a major.


The Ruzevich sisters are nearly inseparable, even commenting on how they'll have to live next door to each other someday. The forwards transferred to Moraine Valley this fall, and are continuing the Ruzevich tradition. Their older brother and sister both played Cyclone basketball.

Have you two always played the same sport?

Kate: Throughout our whole lives.

Julia: We're better together.

Kate: The twin way is the best way. We played gymnastics, swimming, volleyball, everything.

Julia: Basketball since we were six years old because my dad was a basketball coach.


What's the best part of competing with your twin?

Both: Connection.

Julia: I know she'll catch my pass.

Kate: We know when we'll each cut the back door. When we double team, that's cool.

Julia: They get confused because we're twins.


What's the worst part of competing with your twin?

Kate: The competitions. Everyone compares us.

Julia: I don't look at it as competitive, but everyone else does.

Kate: We know each other's move. If she scores more in a game, we're not like a hater. We hate comparing, but other people think we do.


What's your most fun twin moment?

Kate: Switching on a boyfriend in the car. And we're going to a twin convention next year. Doing fun things with someone who looks just like you is so fun.

Julia: Every day until seventh grade we dressed the exact same. My mom always dressed us the same, and we loved it.

Kate: Before we go to bed we say the exact same thing. I drive to school, and she drives home. We switch every day.

Julia: We don't like driving.


How is life as a twin?

Kate: It makes it easier to live life.

Julia: We're the package deal. We've played together.

Kate: Home is always with you. We've never been separated longer than a week…and we never want to be.

Julia: We're very close.


What can you say about your sister?

Kate: She's outgoing and caring.

Julia: She's big-hearted; she has way too big of a heart.

Kate: We like the exact same food.

Julia: The same movies.

Kate: Same clothing.

Julia: I buy clothing, and Kate buys food.


What's next after Moraine Valley?

Julia: Kate has always known what she wants to do. I'm on the fence.

Kate: We want to do the same thing. We can excel together. I'm majoring in marketing and minoring in biology. Julia is going into premed and minoring in marketing.

Julia: It'd be cool to work together.