Griffith seniors Lindsey and Michelle Sopetti are twin sisters through and through. They are each other's No. 1 supporter in school and at home.
But on the tennis court, some definite differences become apparent.
For example, Lindsey, the older sibling by all of one minute, has played doubles since she joined the Panthers as a freshman.
"A couple of my friends were playing tennis and encouraged me to try out," Lindsey said. "I found out I really liked it a lot.
"I also figured out early that I really like the doubles game. The idea of having a partner to share the load is a good thing."
Michelle, however, prefers to compete in singles. She occupies the No. 2 position for Griffith this spring after alternating between second and third singles last season.
"I like having it on my shoulders," Michelle said. "I know the team is counting on me for a point. I like the challenge of having to do it myself."
According to Panthers coach Tracy Sines, the contrast between the sisters extends beyond their respective playing preferences.
"Lindsey is by far the more aggressive one, especially during the match," Sines said. "Her intensity level goes way up when we play a match. She hates to lose, even one point. Lindsey demands a lot from herself.
"Michelle, on the other hand, is cooler and calmer. Not that she doesn't play very competitively, but she keeps it down (emotionally) a couple of notches. Her competitiveness is not as easy to see."
While both girls demonstrate good leadership skills, they take different approaches with that, too.
Michelle is the cheerleader, encouraging teammates in a positive way and talking them up. Lindsey challenges her teammates the same way she challenges herself.
"Both methods work in different scenarios," Sines said. "Some girls respond to encouragement, some like to be pushed a little. We have a little of both coming from Lindsey and Michelle."
Both girls carry a 4.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale and take several honors classes. Lindsey is ranked No. 2 in their class and will be the salutatorian at graduation, while Michelle is ranked one spot behind her sister.
"I'm very proud of Lindsey," Michelle said "She worked hard and she earned it."
Lindsey also earned an academic scholarship to Butler, where she will major in pharmacy starting in the fall. Michelle received a four-year tuition scholarship to attend Valparaiso, where she will study biology.
Sines remembers when the two showed up for their first practice. She tried to play them together as a doubles team, figuring their knowledge of each other would make for great communication.
The coach quickly changed her mind about that.
"They are sisters," Sines laughed. "They verbally pecked at each other all practice. I figured I'd better try something else."
Four years later, as long as each gets to do her own thing, everything seems to be fine.