In athletics, it’s always interesting to see siblings competing alongside and against each other. One sister duo that comes to mind is Venus and Serena Williams. Both of them are highly ranked tennis players who find themselves facing off for intense matches. However, sibling competition is even more entertaining when they’re twins.
UMHB has its fair share of them involved in athletics. Kaylan and Kelsey Gangle both play for the volleyball team, Jude and Julius Austin competed on the soccer team and Kirsten and Kristen Leverett have won conference championship rings with the football team.
This past fall, the university welcomed another set of twins to the Cru family. Megan and Mallory Aarhus are freshman cell biology majors who play on the tennis team. They were recruited out of Georgetown, Texas, but they’re originally from Baton Rouge, La.
They moved to the lone star state during their sophomore year of high school.
Mallory said, “The pastor of our church started a new church here. They’re friends of the family so we’ve helped them with it.”
In high school, Megan had a record of 48-3 and received the Golden Eagle Award while Mallory won district her senior year and was voted MVP.
The twins showed interest in both Tarleton State and Howard Payne University, but decided UMHB was the best fit.
“It was close to home and close to family,” Mallory said.
Coach James Cohagan believes they are talented and have only scratched the surface of their potential. In just their first college season, they have already done impressive things.
“Megan has won player of the week individually,” he said, “and they have won player of the week as a couple.”
Cohagan now has no problem distinguishing who is who, but admits to being confused at first.
”In the very beginning, it was a little difficult because I learned their names backwards,” he said,” but they are two unique individuals and very easy to tell apart.”
They actually come from a family of tennis players, which explains their endowment.
Mallory said, “My mom played in college, and my dad just picked it up.”
Megan, who is older by a minute and a half, describes her sister as being strong as a player and having a good serve.
“As a person, Mallory is caring in a way that is very frank and honest,” she said.
Cohagan said, “Mallory is creative, spontaneous and willing to try most anything. She is a free spirit. Megan is a little more reserved and plays the big sister role.”
They get along on and off the court and have blended well with the rest of the team. When new players come into a program that has been successful the previous year, current players are always curious about what the new talent has to offer. But the twins performance this year has proved that they have what it takes to compete at the collegiate level.
Beating Trinity, which was ranked higher at one point, was a big highlight for the siblings this season. However, they are already looking at ways to improve for next season and have their eyes set on a rematch against HSU after a close 4-5 loss.
“Beating Hardin-Simmons next year is a big goal and getting the team stronger,” Mallory said.
April 17-18 the girls traveled to Abilene to play in the ASC Championship Tournament. They advanced to the semifinal round by beating LeTourneau University 5-0. They were defeated by UT-Tyler 0-5, but they finished with a 2nd place ranking. Now that the season is over, they can concentrate on academics.