Josephine and Patricia Moore are spitting-image identical twins, which can be confusing enough on its own. When the Raymore-Peculiar seniors are working the same side of the tennis court, it can cause even more confusion for their opponents.
“It’s always like, ‘Hey sis, you got it, sis, sis…,’” Ray-Pec girls tennis coach Ashleigh Grumke said. “We’ve played so many people and they’re like, ‘Why do they keep telling them to switch?’ But I’m like, no they’re saying ‘sis,’ like sister.”
There’s no confusion about how good the Moore sisters have played this season nor how far they have come since they were struggling freshmen.
After winning district and sectional titles, the two are competing this weekend in the Class 2 girls’ tennis state doubles tournament at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield, Mo.
Like many identical twins, the Moores — Josephine is the oldest by a minute — are practically inseparable and have always been involved in the same activities.
They both played soccer when they were little and, at one time, they were competitive figure skaters.
But it was tennis that became their favorite sport as the sisters started taking lessons off and on before high school. Josephine got hooked on the game right away, but she said it took some persuading to get her sister on board.
“It’s like, ‘Come on, let’s try something new,’” Josephine said. “We just got out of soccer and we were, ‘Let’s just try something else active. We have nothing better to do over the summer.’”
The Moores’ love for the game grew, but the two found themselves at the bottom rung of the ladder when they got to Ray-Pec.
Their freshman year was also Grumke’s first as coach, so she has always felt a special bond with the twins and the Panthers’ other seniors this season.
During that time, Grumke watched the Moores put in year-round work to advance through the ranks.
They became good enough this year to have a 24-3 record heading into state and help anchor a Panthers team that won the Class 2, District 12 team championship and advance to sectionals.
“I still remember when the twins were trying out as freshmen — they were on the bottom of the ladder and they were like, ‘Oh, we have a long way to go,’” Grumke said. “They’ve put in a lot of time over the years and over the summer to make it to this point. They had goals of going to state from the get-go. It’s nice that they’re going to get to do that.”
Grumke said the Moores’ strong suit is court placement, moving exactly where they need to be for each point. A lot of that ability, she believes, comes from their unique connection.
“I feel like they move in sync together,” Grumke said. “Even professional doubles players, when they play at a really, really high level, they’re still trying to figure out how to move with your partner, to cover your space on the court, and they just do that instantaneously.”
It’s something both sisters feel as well. Even Patricia admits she’s amazed at how well-placed Josephine can be.
“Sometimes I whiff the ball she’s just right there to come up and get the ball right after it,” Patricia said. “It’s saved us a couple of times, at least.”
Josephine explained, “I know where she’s going to be at, when to move and stuff like that. I kind of know where her next move is.”
Both sisters are happy to find themselves at state this weekend. No matter what happens, they’re just excited to see a long-time goal come to fruition.
They’re also hoping college tennis is in their future — the same college.
“It’s either you take both of us or you don’t take us at all,” Patricia said. “We’re a package deal.”
That’s the way it’s always been for the Moore twins, even if they don’t spend quite as much time together as they used to.
“Now that we’ve got boyfriends, we do a little different things,” Patricia said.