The Byron sisters grew up together through the Edwardsville tennis program

It has to be every parent’s dream to see their kids play sports together.

It certainly went to Zoe and Sophie Byron’s parents, and that dream has come true this tennis season in Edwardsville.

Senior year Zoe and sophomore Sophie were EHS double partners this year and will continue to be for the rest of the season. They were hesitant to play doubles together before the season and originally preferred to play doubles with their teammates.

But that changed this fall.

“We definitely enjoy playing together,” Sophie said. “They don’t usually get siblings together so we weren’t expecting it, but it’s working out and it’s fun.”

Zoe added: “It’s fun because we can play with our friends in practice. We weren’t really expecting it, but it was fun.”

This season, the Byrons are 8-8 in doubles, including 4-0 in the Southwest Conference, entering Friday’s Southern Illinois Duals. They were 8-5 ahead of the Lyons Township Invitational, where they lost against state powerhouse Hinsdale Central and other tough Chicago contests.

Zoe and Sophie grew up in tennis together.

Zoe played volleyball until high school, but after she didn’t make the varsity team in eighth grade, she started playing tennis because she had friends on the show.

Sophie played soccer and ran cross country, before switching to tennis in eighth grade.

“It’s a lot of fun because we’ve always had someone to practice with,” Sophie said.

After she went 5-2 in her sophomore season, Zoe finished her 2021 junior season with a 28-15 record, which placed her in the All-Southwestern Conference first team for singles.

In 2021 as a freshman, Sophie finished 20-20 and was named to the All-Southwestern Conference second team for singles. She was also named SWC Rookie of the Year.

“It was really cool to see the achievements we’ve made together and the improvements we’ve made together,” said Zoe.

The biggest disagreement between the two didn’t even reach the court.

In fact, it comes from each sister’s choice of pop artist to listen to. Sophie is a fan of Taylor Swift, while Zoe prefers Harry Styles more.

On the court, they get over each other’s mistakes and defeats quickly.

“Once in a while, she misses a dance and it pisses me off,” Sophie said, laughing.

Zoe thinks the hardest part is that she knows she can get angry and frustrated with Sophie, unlike when she’s playing with her friends.

“It’s hard to play with her sometimes because I know I can get mad at her,” Zoe said. “When you play with friends, you can’t get too mad at them because you might lose them as friends. I really can’t lose her, so I’m going to yell at her about hitting the ball.

Most of the time, it’s all positive.”

Zoe and tag teammate Chloe Koons were the #2 SWC tag team champions last year with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Kelsey Dismukes and Analiese Reidelberger of Belleville East.

From October 7th to 8th, the Byrons will compete together in a SWC championship. Both were singles finalists last season, with Zoe on singles flight #3 and Sophie on singles flight #5.

Now, as the Tigers’ number 3 doubles team, the sisters will look to come out as champions in the tournament.

“I know this is something I’ll look back on when I’m in college and away from it,” Zoe said.

Leave a Comment