It's finally the end of the road for the dynamic Buffalo Grove senior girls tennis duo of twins Dana and Lauren Goggin.
Not, however, before they return for a fourth run through the state tournament, this time hosted by the school where they shined every year on varsity.
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"Nice match ladies," said one opposing coach at the Buffalo Grove Invite earlier this season. "Will you both just graduate already?!"
Paired together in doubles, the Goggin twins accumulated a 96-35 record in their four years. That win total is second in the program's history behind only the Goggins' former teammates Heather and Ashton Nisbet (106).
Between home, tennis and school, the Goggin sisters (24-4 this year) do everything together. While the sisters admit that sometimes the time spent together can take its toll on each other's temperament, their tennis strategy and chemistry on the court has never wavered.
"We always know what the other is thinking," Dana said. "It's not just because we're twins, but we're sisters. We do everything together. We keep the same friends, and our parents want us to go to the same college."
Dana and Lauren first lifted their rackets at the age of 4, but they never had the expectations to play long-term. The sisters both recalled not even knowing that tennis was offered at the high school level. Soon the two joined summer camp in seventh grade, where the Goggins met their future coach at BG, Kevin Schrammel.
The two expressed that their main influence to play the sport was due to their father John Goggin's fierce love of tennis and the support of their mother, Betty, who traveled with them on their frequent United States Tennis Association tournaments in Wisconsin and Indiana.
"It's been awesome," Schrammel said about the tandem's four years. "Every time I have a player for four years, it's going to be hard for me when they leave. Hopefully they'll keep in touch.
Schrammel first learned from the Goggins' cousin, former BG player Adam Przepiorski, that the twins would be joining the Bison one day.
"I saw the talent there," said Schrammel, "but you never know if they'll come out for tennis. It's been a lot of fun -- I've seen them grow as tennis players and grow as people. (The Goggins) are deceptively good players and always played big when they needed to. I'm lucky to have two kids that are not only great players, but great people."
The twins noted former players like the Nisbet sisters and former Buffalo Grove singles player Nell Boyd as not only mentors but valued peers for treating the Goggin sisters as equals even though Dana and Lauren were then underclassmen.
The Goggins, in their freshman year, were part of the Buffalo Grove team that finished ninth in the team race at the state tournament.
"(Boyd and the Nisbets) were always really nice. I figured most seniors and juniors weren't as close. Plus we were shy. Heather (Nisbet) said we would go to state during our freshman season. We weren't even seeded in sectionals, and we did."
The Goggins also noted Schrammel as an inspiration in their successful prep career.
"(Schrammel) is always supportive," Lauren said. "He always says we got here for a reason, and it's not by accident. He's always there and really helps us out with our game."
The coaching from Schrammel has aided the Goggin sisters in the classroom as well. Lauren has Schrammel for her study hall, while Dana is enrolled in Schrammel's Teacher Intern Program.
With all the accolades the two have achieved over their four seasons, Dana and Lauren still posted personal bests this season. Among them are their best winning percentage (.857), their first MSL doubles title, a victory against Barrington's top doubles team and their highest finish at a sectional (second place).
In the Goggins' sophomore and junior years, they finished in the top 32 at state and also merited all-state third team honors.
The later the season gets, the stronger the Goggins play as they both discussed their love for playing in unfavorable autumn conditions. If the forecast holds, it looks like they might get their wish starting with Thursday's opening rounds. They've earned a 9-16 seed and are scheduled to begin with a 9 a.m. match on their home turf at Buffalo Grove.
"We like playing outside in bad weather," Lauren said. "A lot of tennis is in the bad weather. We play a scrappy game and sort have adapted. I think we could have beaten Stevenson (for the sectional championship) if we played them outside."
"We do well with the wind," Dana added. "Stevenson didn't adjust to (their surroundings) as well as they did when they played inside. It's harder to lob."
Dana and Lauren have not decided where they will attend college, but have been contacted by many schools to continue their education and their tennis.
"This is going to be exciting," Dana said. "It's our last year and we're not nervous. Our friends, family and teachers always come out. It's been a great time."