BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Mariel Runyan can already see the finish line.
“I’m going to be sad, I already know I’m going to be sad,” Mariel Runyan admitted.
It’s a bittersweet week for Mariel and her sister Gabby. Young ladies that have played tennis their whole lives and the daughters of a tennis pro, are headed to state as a doubles team for the second year in a row.
And for their final high school tournament together.
“I think it’s special because you usually don’t get to play with your sister,” Mariel Runyan said. “I think it’s exciting our last run will be at state. We made it. No matter who we play we’re going to try our hardest. It’ll be exciting but bittersweet.”
The Bloomington High School tennis stars are a year apart in age. Mariel is a senior, Gabby a junior.
Their father Matt is the club pro at Evergreen Racquet Club in Peoria.
They started their high school tennis careers playing singles. But last year joined forces and became a doubles team.
“I think we’re both better at doubles,” Gabby Runyan said. “We’ve lost to people in singles then beat them at doubles. We’re both better at doubles.”
This week’s trip to state in the Chicago suburbs is the third for Mariel, the second for Gabby. But it’s their final one together as a doubles team.
They hope to make the most of it.
“Since it’s the last time with my sister, I think it’ll be extra special,” Mariel Runyan said.
Her sister agrees.
“I just want us to do the best we can,” Gabby Runyan said. “It really is our last time playing together. It’s said but I just want it to be good.”