Siblings Joanne Vo, sr. and Jaden Vo, fr. add a unique dynamic to East High’s tennis teams. Both play varsity during their respective seasons, Joanne plays with the girls in the fall and is a manager during the spring season when Jaden takes the court. Although they play during different times of year, the sport adds an interesting aspect to their relationship.
“The best part about playing tennis with a sibling would have to be how expressive we can be with one another,” Joanne Vo said. “There’s no need to hold back on anything we want to say, whether it be critiques or random comments.”
Vo’s brother agrees that a sibling’s guidance when it comes to sports is much more straightforward.
“My sister has definitely made a big impact on how I play tennis,” Jaden Vo said. “She pushes me when I feel discouraged and is insanely blunt on what I should work on so I always have room for improvement.”
The elder Vo agrees that being the older sibling has impacted her younger brother’s playing and outlook on tennis. She partly credits her influence in Jaden’s skill as a freshman on varsity as well as her own success.
“I don’t think Jaden would have started taking tennis seriously without my influence,” Joanne Vo said. “Constantly practicing everyday with one another got us where we are now.”
Although playing with a sibling has its benefits, the inevitable brother-sister tensions are also a part of Jaden and Joanne’s tennis career.
“We are both super competitive players which makes it easy for us to get mad at one another,” Joanne Vo said. “It gets annoying since I have to see him outside of practice too.”
Jaden agrees that these moments exist, but he describes any tension from his sister as a result of her desire to see him do well.
“When I mess up on a rally during a game and she just glares at me,” he said. “That glare of hers is crazy.”
Being siblings does not change that both have different personalities and experiences as tennis players. With the challenges this year posed, the duo had to contend with a unique tennis season. Thankfully, the sport remained a positive experience for both siblings.
“With the whole COVID-19 situation, I'm surprised I got all the opportunities I did to play and I'm really happy with how my season ended,” Joanne Vo said. “I got to meet so many new people and overall it was just a really fun experience.”
Jaden agrees that the pandemic did not take any of the fun away from his experience, especially with this rare achievement of being a freshman on varsity.
“I didn’t think I was going to make it into the varsity team as a freshman,” Jaden Vo said. “All the practice sessions I had with Joanne ended up paying off after all.”
Even though the two only experienced a year together because of their age gap, their time playing provided a unique aspect to both their sibling bond and the EHS varsity tennis team.