Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.
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but forged progress through persistence and sheer force of will. Over the next nine years Ashley and Caitlyn endured tens of thousands of reps, endless training sessions, and distant tournaments, while missing countless family and social gatherings, holidays, and school breaks. The sisters supported one another as they toiled to develop the technique to earn state and national rankings within their respective age groups. When their classmates enjoyed free time during their tween and teen years, Ashley and Caitlyn had to live vicariously through them on Instagram and Twitter. Older sister Ashley said that she felt compelled to set the example for her younger sibling. Since they played tourna- ments almost every weekend, they didn't form a core group of friends at school, which made large social functions "awkward." Speaking for both sisters, Ashley said she believed that after she chose her path all of the sacrifices she endured would be worth all of the opportunities received. Consequently, she focused on the big picture, embraced her identity as a player, and became excited for what the future held for her. Trying out for the Wellesley High School Girls' Varsity Tennis Team in late March of 2016 was exciting and new for the sisters. After Caitlyn defeated the previous year's number one singles player, junior Anna Gishin, she found herself on the opposite side of the court against her sister. In straight sets, Ashley, a senior, claimed the number one spot; Caitlyn, a freshman, took the number two position; and Anna anchored a solid third singles seed. Coaches Alan Brazier and Andrew Bennett were excited about the potential strength of this 2016 team. Brazier even hoped to eclipse the 2009 season when WHS went undefeated through the playoffs but fell short in the title match after a heartbreaking loss. But he knew that if Anna, a gifted, multi-sport athlete who could be a top player on virtu- ally any team was his third singles athlete, the team was in good shape, and it also had depth. Sophomore Alexis Tsang, a top-three singles player her freshman year, made one of the doubles pairs, while co- captain, senior Christina Liu was on the other pair. Talent alone does not always guarantee success, however. Fortunately, WHS also had the character quotient covered. Senior co-captain Kelli Murray was a natural leader who always led by exam- ple, earned respect, and possessed the ability to positively influence the athletes to support each other—and embrace the team above all else. Sporting her trademark hair ribbons and armed with a clipboard, she continually patrolled all five courts during team matches with a dis- cerning eye. As co-captains, Christina and Kelli complemented each other well. While Christina's leadership style was to quietly develop one-on-one relationships with her teammates, Kelli was more vocal and spirited. She kept the team focused on the big picture during every match and acquired an acute sense of each player's personality and Two Inches to Perfect 130 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 7