April 14, 2014
By Jerome Boettcher | Subscribe to Commodore Nation
Shelby Trentzsch and Sydney Trentzsch share more than the occasional set of clothes.
They also share the same parents, height, hair color and birthday. They’ve been known to roam the lacrosse field together, too.
“We have never been apart,” Sydney said. “It is so much fun to play with her. I like competing with her, but I also really like to work with each other and make each other better.”
The twin sisters from Westminster, Md., have brought their unique sibling friendship to Vanderbilt. The freshman pair offers depth in the midfield for coach Cathy Swezey, who personally understands twin chemistry.
Swezey is a twin; her fraternal brother, Mike, lives in Nashville. Swezey, in her 17th year at Vanderbilt, has recruited twins before. The Connors sisters — Kacie and Kelly — were defenders from 2009 to 2012. Last month, another set of twins – Kayla and Leah Peterson from Maryland — signed national letters of intent to play at Vanderbilt.
In all three situations, Swezey said one half of the twinset was interested in playing at Vanderbilt, and the other decided to tag along and visit. Then both couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play together — and for the Commodores.
“I know what a twin means to somebody,” Swezey said. “It is your other half—literally. It is very hard to describe to other people. You’re as bonded to that person as you could be to anyone. We believe in the twin chemistry. I understand the desire for twins to be with their twins.”
For Shelby and Sydney, they’ve shared the lacrosse field since first grade—grade school, middle school, high school and their club team, Sky Walkers out of Baltimore.
Aside from practice, the duo has never played on opposite sides.
“I don’t like playing against her,” Shelby said. “It’s weird because it never happens.”
What’s not weird is the duo’s chemistry on the field. Swezey admires their give-and-go combinations, their uncanny ability to locate one another and their toughness. She also knows they won’t hold back, and they challenge each other when needed.
“They are always working with each other,” said freshman MacKenzie Lange, who has a twin brother and is the younger sister of Taylor Lange, who played for the Commodores, 2009-12. “They have the same style. They’re very scrappy, and you can always count on them for going after a ground ball and really picking it up. The chemistry is awesome.”
The twin tandem brings a winning mindset.
In four years at Winters Mill, they played in four state championship games and helped the Falcons to three Maryland state championships. This included winning the 2010 crown with older sister Amalie, who is a senior midfielder at Maryland.
The sisters reunited on the lacrosse field this past fall when the Terrapins and Commodores met for a scrimmage. Their parents, John and Denise, who is also a twin, made sure to split allegiances. They donned the colors black, gold, red and white.
Even for teammates and coaches, it can be hard to tell Shelby and Sydney apart.
“Since we are freshmen I feel like people are still trying to tell us apart,” Shelby said. “They’re still struggling.”
Fellow freshman Abby Quirk confused the two for the longest. The sisters used to mess with their high school coach by switching jerseys during practice to see if she noticed. Swezey feels confident she can pick the right one.
“It is easier if they’re standing right next to each other,” Swezey said. “If not, I guess. And 90 percent of the time I have it. They have subtle differences.”
While they physically mirror each other, their personalities differ.
Both agree Sydney is more laid back and easygoing. Shelby is more of a planner and welcomes more organization.
“I think I’m a little more stressed, and she is more laid back and relaxed,” Shelby said. “I think it is good to have that. She can calm me down.”
Said Sydney: “I think it is good. I’ll tell her, ‘Shelb, it doesn’t really matter. Go with it.’ Or she’ll be like, ‘Sydney, we need to get this done. I think it helps.”
While the two are inseparable on the field, they decided not to room together this year.
“We decided not to room together because we’re always with each other,” Sydney said. “Sometimes it can get annoying—little things.”
“It is good to get a break from each other,” Shelby added.
But the sisters wouldn’t trade the chance to be together. Both fell in love with Vanderbilt early and for the chance to share in the college experience.
“That is one of the best parts—I always have someone,” Shelby said. “If I need to get something off my chest, I always have her to go to. I couldn’t imagine going somewhere else without her.”