It sounds as if something’s being shot out of a cannon.
It’s a repetitive, uninterrupted series that echoes throughout the tennis complex at the newly opened Canyon View High School in Waddell.
On the courts, there are two culprits responsible for the head-turning thump. They rally practice shots back and forth together, flawlessly, to begin a practice on a sunless Wednesday afternoon.
Back and forth and back and forth they go. The same thunderous sound, the same contact of ball meeting racquet, the same unblemished motion from both girls.
The ball simply explodes off of their racquets.
Meet Madeline Monroy and Kambra Roles, the freshmen tandem who have taken control of the Canyon View girls’ tennis program in the school’s inaugural season.
Oh, yeah, and they’re cousins. Monroy’s dad and Roles’ mom are siblings.
So, naturally, Monroy and Roles have grown up inseparable – like twin sisters, they said. They’ve always had classes together, always played sports together. They’ve played tennis together for 10 years now.
The next episode of their relationship will unfold at Canyon View, where the girls spend the school day in the same classes and the afternoons side by side on the tennis court. Monroy is the Jaguars’ No. 1 player in the lineup, Roles at No. 2.
“Growing up, we definitely fought like sisters and twins and stuff, but we’d always hang out with each other and want to hang out with each other,” Roles said.
“We even convinced our parents to move next door to each other,” piggybacked Monroy.
It’s true. The two said they were able to finesse a way for both families to live right next to each other, this after living across the street from one another.
The Roles family’s backyard is soon to include a pool, while the Monroy residence will soon boast its own tennis court in the backyard. This will inevitably strengthen their relationship, as if it lacked in that department.
“(Right now), we’re the closest we’ve ever been,” Roles beamed with delight.
Jaguars head coach Colleen Whalen accepted the girls’ tennis job last year, long before she learned of the talent Monroy and Roles would supply. When she ran her first open court workouts in October, her first impression of the two was simple, yet so appropriate: “Wow.”
“I think the biggest thing is just their court sense and how they work together as far as what they should do and how they should do it, and their encouragement for each other, too,” Whalen said.
Canyon View opened last August, this being its first school year. It holds just a freshmen class, but it will welcome an additional grade level each year.
Both girls are ranked as two of the most highly touted athletes in the U.S. Tennis Association for 16-year-old girls’ singles players in the Southwest Region, which includes Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Texas.
Monroy is ranked No. 25, and Roles follows at No. 31.
Given how talented they are, there’s a chance that both could advance to the finals round in the Division II state singles tournament – and face off against each other for the title. Both are undefeated in singles play this spring, wearing perfect 7-0 records.
Playing against each other in the championship round would be “a win-win for both of us,” Monroy said. Obviously, only one would be crowned champion, but the runner-up would be thrilled for her cousin.
They’ve squared up against each other roughly “10 to 15 times before,” in previous tournaments, both agreed, adding that the results of those matches have been split pretty evenly.
During play, Monroy’s mother, Jessica, described an atmosphere that is like “World War III.”
“The last time we played, we got so into the match, we weren’t even like family. We had a few disagreements on a few things,” Roles said.
But at the conclusion of the match, reality hits, and the girls become inseparable once again.
“We’ll be like, ‘That was so good. You did so well, and you did this so well,’” Monroy said.
“We’re just competitors,” Monroy added. “We just pretend like we don’t know each other (when we play each other). A lot of people say, ‘I feel bad for you,’ but we don’t feel bad. We see where our levels are at and if we’ve improved.”
Roughly 30 people make up their family, they said, and just about every one of them is present at every Canyon View tennis match to watch two of their own command the court.
How would they feel if there was a Monroy-Roles state finals match-up in the cards?
“If it was us in the finals, yes, they would like it because someone is going to win. But they don’t like watching, because our families are very close, so playing against each other – they’ve just seen it too many times,” Monroy said.
But like it or not, this might be a reoccurring conundrum both families face, as Monroy and Roles seem primed to be state championship contenders for as long as they don Jaguars uniforms.