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Gorman: 'Sisters first, tennis second'

Kevin Gorman
| Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, 10:03 p.m.
Greensburg Central Catholic's Alyvia Kluska (left) and her sister Michaela Kluska talk after playing to 2-2 tie. Michaela forfeited to Alysia in the WPIAL Class AA girls tennis singles championship Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at Shady Side Academy.
Chaz Palla | Trib Total Media
Greensburg Central Catholic's Alyvia Kluska (left) and her sister Michaela Kluska talk after playing to 2-2 tie. Michaela forfeited to Alysia in the WPIAL Class AA girls tennis singles championship Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at Shady Side Academy.
Greensburgh Central Catholic's Michaela Kluska plays in the WPIAL Class AA girls tennis singles championship Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at Shady Side Academy.
Chaz Palla | Trib Total Media
Greensburgh Central Catholic's Michaela Kluska plays in the WPIAL Class AA girls tennis singles championship Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at Shady Side Academy.
Greensburg Central Catholic's Alyvia Kluska plays in the WPIAL Class AAA girls tennis singles championship Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at Shady Side Academy.
Chaz Palla | Trib Total Media
Greensburg Central Catholic's Alyvia Kluska plays in the WPIAL Class AAA girls tennis singles championship Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at Shady Side Academy.
Greensburg Central Catholic's Alyvia Kluska (left) and her sister Michaela Kluska talk after playing to 2-2 tie. Michaela forfeited to Alysia in the WPIAL Class AA girls tennis singles championship Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at Shady Side Academy.
Chaz Palla | Trib Total Media
Greensburg Central Catholic's Alyvia Kluska (left) and her sister Michaela Kluska talk after playing to 2-2 tie. Michaela forfeited to Alysia in the WPIAL Class AA girls tennis singles championship Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at Shady Side Academy.

The WPIAL Class AA tennis singles champion was decided in a weird way.

Shrugs, then hugs.

Alyvia and Michaela Kluska of Greensburg Central Catholic planned to play each other for the WPIAL title until Thursday's final at Shady Side Academy.

The sisters were the tourney's top two seeds, so evenly paired that their matches tend to take three sets with tiebreakers.

“They can get competitive with each other,” said their mother, Melissa Kluska. “They play each other every single day, so they can anticipate each other's every move.”

So, they chose keeping peace over keeping score, with Michaela conceding a forfeit to Alyvia, older by 16 months.

“The last thing we wanted was to go out and get in a fight,” said Michaela, a sophomore.

Alyvia, a junior, finished her sentence: “It's not worth putting our relationship on the line.”

Not that they had a choice.

Whether it's Venus and Serena Williams at Wimbledon or Alyvia and Michaela Kluska at the WPIAL, nobody likes to see someone make a mockery of their championship.

Rules are rules, the sisters were told, so before Michaela could forfeit to Alyvia they had to play to a point or the loser wouldn't advance to the PIAAs.

The Kluskas shrugged, played to a 2-2 tie, then hugged and walked off. As far as they're concerned, they're co-champions.

“I wasn't even looking at the fact that I had to play my sister,” Alyvia said. “I thought it was such a great accomplishment for both of us to be in the WPIAL finals. Now, it's our goal to get to the state finals.”

Until then, the Kluskas will keep their priorities in order:

Sisters first, tennis second.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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