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Bradley sisters power Mt. Pleasant tennis

| Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012,
Mt. Pleasant tennis player Taylor Bradley during a match at Mt. Pleasant on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
Mt. Pleasant tennis players Taylor and April Bradley on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
Mt. Pleasant tennis player April Bradley during a match at Mt. Pleasant on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review

The Mt. Pleasant girls tennis team has had plenty of success in recent seasons, and a big part of that can be attributed to sisters April and Taylor Bradley.

April, a senior, and Taylor, a junior, have both been in the starting lineup for three seasons, including last year's Section 1-AA championship season. This year, April is Mt. Pleasant's first singles player, and Taylor plays second singles. The sisters have also played together as a doubles tandem several times this year, and their combined record in 2012 is 33-7.

Heading into Tuesday's match against Derry, Mt. Pleasant's record is 11-4. The Vikings need one victory in their last two matches to qualify for the playoffs for a seventh straight season.

“Those two girls have been solid and very reliable all the years they have been playing,” Mt. Pleasant coach Tony Splendore said. “They also have leadership qualities. They worry about the other girls on the team. They are team players, and they are willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the team.”

For the Bradleys, tennis is a family sport. Brothers Eric and Kyle were former standouts at Mt. Pleasant, as was older sister Rachel.

For Taylor, the opportunity to play next to her sister is something she cherishes.

“I love playing next to her,” Taylor said. “It means a lot to me. She is my best friend.”

“It makes it a lot more special,” April said, noting that she also had the chance to player with older sister Rachel. When April was a freshman, Rachel was a senior. “The greatest part about high school is being with my siblings.”

Last month, they put their sisterhood aside and played against each other in the Section 1-AA singles tournament. In the consolation finals, the two met with a spot in the WPIAL Class AA singles tournament on the line.

“It was really difficult, and we didn't want to play each other,” Taylor said. “I think April is a step ahead of me, but on any given day, one can beat the other.”

The match didn't go the distance. In the second set, April forfeited due to a lower leg injury, allowing Taylor to advance.

“She was happy for me to move on, because I am more competitive than she is,” Taylor said.

April agreed.

“We're pretty much the same, tennis-wise,” April said. “We're close in ability, but she's definitely more competitive and I'm just playing to have fun.”

The sisters form a successful doubles pairing, as evidenced by their runner-up finish at the Section 1-AA doubles tournament last week. They will team up again at the WPIAL Class AA doubles tournament Thursday at Keystone Oaks.

“I know it's going to be hard, but I hope we do as well as we can and hopefully we can go to states,” April said. “That would be awesome.”

Taylor also has hopes of making it to states.

“I'm excited, and I'd love to make it to states because it is April's last year,” Taylor said.

Both also have high aspirations beyond high school.

April would like to attend college in Florida to study pre-medicine or pursue a career in culinary arts.

Taylor might continue playing if she attends a local college, but her goal is to attend Notre Dame to study neurology.

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com or 724-626-3534.

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