Tennis twinsRenee Shaktivel

Staff Writer

The twin sister duo of Huibre-Mare and Louise-Mare Botes have been conquering the ISU tennis court since they were freshmen, when they came to the United States from South Africa.

Both sisters won Big Sky All-Conference honors last season, which hasn’t happened at ISU since 2013 when Kasey Bacon was named All-Conference honorable mention. Louise was first-team in singles and Huibre was awarded with second-team honors in doubles.

Their athletic ability and love of tennis runs deep, but their love for one another runs even deeper. Their devotion to each other and tennis brought them to play for ISU

“We came here because this was one of the only universities we could go to together,” Louise said. “People regard American education very highly in Africa,” Huibre added. “It doesn’t matter where you go.”

According to Huibre and Louise, their bond as twins is an asset to them on the court.

“It’s good because we know each other, and I can feel when she’s coming to the net. We have good communication,” Louise said. “But communication is also a problem because if I get mad, I stop talking to her.”

Huibre added that there’s extra tension that comes with playing with her sister.

“I feel more pressure when I have to play with her because people expect us to win,” she said.

While the pair are known for their teamwork on the court, they can frequently be found together off the court. Since childhood they have been inseparable, and during the school holidays as children, Louise and Huibre would compete in their own sort of competitions, playing ping-pong and dart throwing.

Now, as adults, their favorite hobbies to do together are shopping and visiting the local coffee shops while enjoying the American way of life.

“People think Africa is this place where lions run free, but it’s actually very Americanized,” Louise said.

They added that the adjustment of moving to the states came easily to them.

“Our morals are different, but it’s way more peaceful here,” Huibre said. 

Despite the friendship they share, there are still boundaries to what the twins will do together.

“We used to do yoga and there were these 40-year-old twins there. They had the same job, worked together, and had no friends, and we promised each other we were never going to be like that,” Huibre said.

They made a promise to not become dependent on one another and are able to fulfill this promise as they pursue their own dreams of getting into medical school and law school.

“Our mother said we are each other’s best friends and worst enemies,” Louise said.

“I wouldn’t want to play with anyone else. She keeps the family name high,” Huibre added.

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