Madison stood on one side of the net at Jimenez Field, volleying with a teammate, practicing digs.
On the opposite side, McKenna stood, volleying with a teammate, practicing digs.
The net might as well have been a mirror.
Madison and McKenna Witt have the same hair — color and style — and the same outfit, same sunglasses. They compete together, walk into team huddles together, stand side-by-side. They take water breaks together, live together.
If not for an anklet on Mc-
Kenna’s left ankle, you’d think they were the same person. Steve Walker, the UA coach, often makes that mistake because, well, they pretty much are the same person.
Madison and McKenna are twins, and the prize of the UA’s first-ever recruiting class in sand volleyball. The freshmen from Glendale complement each other perfectly.
“On the court, there’s no question which is which,” Walker said. “Off the court, I still can’t decipher. If I see them in the hallways, it’s just ‘Miss Witt.’ ”
McKenna has a birth mark beneath her right eye, Madison does not.
“Also, my face is rounder, hers is more oval,” McKenna said. “She was the fatter one, now I’ve grown into the fatter one. We take pride in that. We fight for who can weigh more.”
Madison added: “She’s the prettier one; I’m the smart one.”
On the court, the Witts are solid, too. The teammates have a 12-13 overall record this year. On Saturday, their first season — and the inaugural one for UA sand volleyball — will close out at home with a 9 a.m. match against USC and a 1 p.m. match against Boise State.
“I think we took every weekend and improved,” Madison said. “We kept getting better, kept working hard every day. I know we would’ve liked to make the championships, which was a big goal to do as freshmen, and we didn’t do it, but we tried really hard, and learned a lot. I feel like going into next year, we’ll have an upper hand for sure.”
Walker added: “For them to climb the ladder and be a legit threat to any team this late in the year is pretty incredible. It’s been a great season for them.”
They certainly have the upper hand in the chemistry department.
Sit down with the Witt sisters, and they’ll do most of the talking.
They bicker: “We have our fights,” Madison said.
Then McKenna: “I let her win, though.”
Madison: “She’s submissive.
McKenna: “No I’m not.
Madison: “I’m the aggressor.”
McKenna: “Whatever, you can be aggressive.”
Madison, smiling: “She always pulls the ‘I’m a lover, not a fighter.’ … Whatever you want to tell yourself.”
McKenna: “Well, She’s given me three concussions.”
They talked about how, one time in fifth grade, Madison was spinning McKenna around in a chair. (“Like a good sister,” Madison said. “Who doesn’t love that?”) McKenna told her to stop, Madison didn’t, McKenna flew off the chair and hit her head.
Another time, they were jumping on a trampoline, Madison “double-bounced” McKenna, making her fly off and hit her face on some rocks.
Or the time when they were wrestling, and Madison accidentally slammed McKenna’s head against the wall.
“I let her win,” Madison said, smiling.
It’s not all fights and head trauma with the Witts, though. Like most twins, they like to have fun.
One time at Costco, they staged their own “Parent Trap,” convincing random people shopping around the store that they were long lost twins, that McKenna was British — accent and all — Madison the American, and that they found each other online.
The strangers believed it, up until they asked McKenna where in Britain she was from.
“I was like, Great,” she said, laughing. “Great Britain.”
Walker is just happy they’re at the UA.
Originally, they committed and signed letters of intent to play indoor volleyball at UC-Riverside. Then, Riverside’s coach was fired, and the Witts backed out.
The UA was one of the first schools to call. It didn’t take much convincing to get them from inside on the court to outside in the sand.
They became two-thirds of Walker’s first recruiting class, and the inaugural sand volleyball class at the UA.
Fast-forward to March 22, when the Wildcats were playing in a tournament in Honolulu, the Witts took the court, shook hands with the opposing tandem.
It was Nebraska’s Kadie and Amber Rolfzen. They are twins, too.
“That was weird,” Madison said. “We got a taste of how people feel when they play us. When we shook each others’ hands it was just an awkward moment. But, it really was, ‘May the best twins win’.
“And, she added, “we won.”