Spring Hill’s Lexi and Dawson Penn, separately, have held their own throughout their respective tennis careers.
This weekend will show what the brother-sister duo can do on the court together at the state tournament.
“I’d say we’re both pretty good when we’re by ourselves,” Lexi said. “But when we’re together…”
“We’re even better,” Dawson added.
The duo leads a strong Spring Hill contingent heading to the UIL state tennis tournament, which begins today at Texas A&M’s George P. Mitchell Tennis Center and the Omar Smith Intramural Tennis Center in College Station.
Both Lexi, a junior, and Dawson, a senior, are making return trips to the state tournament. This time, however, they’re going together as a mixed doubles team.
Usually for the tennis standouts, they’re squaring off against one another.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Lexi, who was a state finalist in doubles in 2016, said. “I mean, we get mad at each other sometimes because we’re both competitive.”
Added Dawson, who won a state championship as a freshman in singles and was a state semifinalist in 2016: “There’s not a lot of brother-sister duos playing. This is the first year that we’ve played together. We’ve always played against one another so this is a little bit different.”
The duo will open action against Smithville at 1 p.m. today in College Station. The mixed doubles semifinals are set for 5 p.m. today with the finals set for noon on Friday.
“I think it’ll be a good weekend and we’re ready,” Dawson said. “I won a title when I first came in to high school and going out with one would be special, especially with Lexi.”
The Penns aren’t the only Panthers making a return trip to state.
Spring Hill junior Kavin Patel, who qualified in doubles in 2017, will team up with junior Micah Moore in the 4A boys’ doubles bracket.
Patel and Moore will take on Kingsville in the quarterfinals at 10:30 a.m. today. The semifinal round is slated for 3:30 p.m. today and the finals begin at 10 a.m. on Friday.
In singles action, Spring Hill sophomore Emmaline Nichols will make her state debut at 9 a.m. today against Boerne’s Alexa Rice. The semifinals are slated for 3 p.m. today and the 4A state final is 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
In the 3A boys singles bracket, Elysian Fields’ Daniel Shelton will take on Poth’s Jake Lamberth at 8 a.m. today. The semifinals are set for 2 p.m. today and the 3A singles final is 8:30 a.m. Friday.