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The “Sabs” Sibs

Apr 16, 2013, 4:34 PM EDT

Julie Sabacinski pairs up with Brittney Sanders for doubles play.

Notre Dame has seen its fair share of student-athlete siblings over the years. Julie and Kenny Sabacinski are another one of those pairs.

She’s a junior on the women’s tennis team, while he’s a freshman on the men’s. They grew up in Plantation, Florida and attended American Heritage High School. They both began playing tennis at very young ages Julie says. “[Kenny] was five, I was six.” Tennis, as it is in many cases, is a family sport for them. Their older sister Lauren played tennis for The College of William & Mary. Julie and Kenny even used to play mixed doubles together when they were younger, and still play against each other over school breaks on the court in their backyard.

Even though she and her brother hail from the sun-soaked suburbs of South Florida, Julie always had her eyes set on South Bend. “This was my dream school. I actually always wanted to come to Notre Dame, it was my number one choice,” she says. After two years of having the campus to herself, her younger brother Kenny joined her.

Family can sometimes be an influential factor on deciding which college to attend. It was an influence that Kenny chose not to ignore to when making his final college choice. “It was definitely a factor. I mean, I did look at the academics and the tennis team, of course, but Julie being here was huge for me.”

source:  Together the two enjoy the benefits of having family nearby. “We get dinner together a lot and [go] to hang out. I mean, we go out together and I get to see him all the time,” Julie remarked.

“Yeah, if I have a problem or anything like that, I know that family’s here which is awesome,” notes Kenny.

“Me being here for two years without him, and [suddenly] now I have someone if [there’s] anything I need is great. He comes to all my matches now, so I have a little coach with me; someone who always has my best interests in mind and has my back. It’s a great feeling,” Julie remarks when asked how she feels having her brother around.

source:  “It’s just someone who’s been close to you your whole life that’s going through the same stuff,” Kenny replies.

“Yeah! Who wants to see you do the best. That unconditional love, it’s great,” Julie responds back.

Julie and Kenny get to experience Notre Dame tennis in a way none of their teammates do. It’s people like the Sabacinski siblings who know the deepest meaning of “The Notre Dame Family,” and take it to a whole new level.

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