Seniors Say ... with Ipswich's Grace Campanello

Courtesy photo. Ipswich's Grace Campanello

Player: Grace Campanello

Age: 18

School: Ipswich 

Spring sport you play: Tennis 

Are you a team captain?: Yes

When it comes to tennis, do you prefer singles or doubles action? I prefer to play doubles because it is a lot of fun to play in a match with someone from your team. My doubles partner and I always try to make matches enjoyable while also focusing on technique and strategies to win.

Do you have a favorite tennis player or athlete you've always looked up to? I have always looked up to Billie Jean King ever since learning about her my freshman year. She formed the Women's Tennis Association and made it possible for women to be taken seriously in tennis and in other sports.

What would you say is the strongest part of your game? I would say my resilience. During matches, I don't get down if I make a bad shot or the score isn't where I would like it to be. I remember I fell during a match once and scraped my knee, but I got right back up and was able to deliver the next shot. Also, knowing I have a trusted player by my side during a match makes me feel more comfortable and ready for anything.

What was it like playing for head coach Gardy O'Flynn, who took over last season? Playing for Gardy was amazing! He really knew what he was talking about and was always giving us helpful advice. Gardy took leadership of the team and got us all in shape and ready for the season. Despite the difficult conditioning or playing a tough match, the team always came back ready for more.

If Ipswich tennis could only play one match this season who would you want it to be against and why? It would probably be against Pentucket. The girls were always very nice and competitive which made for a good match.

How have you been spending your free time during the social distancing? I have been going on a ton of walks with my family around my neighborhood and have been doing a lot of at-home workouts. Since exercise is very important to me, I have been trying to keep it up, especially during this stressful time. I have also been doing school work and video chatting with my friends.

What is the one thing you miss most about life before COVID-19? I really miss being with my friends everyday, especially since this was supposed to be our senior year and it's a real bummer that we don't get to enjoy all of the fun senior activities that were planned. Also, I miss having a schedule. I'm the type of person that loves to be busy so having to stay inside everyday has been pretty tough.

Any good binge-worthy shows that you've watched lately that you'd recommend? I have been watching a lot of Orange Is The New Black on Netflix! It is such a funny show and always keeps you on the edge of your seat. I'm almost finished with it so I'll have to pick another show to watch soon.

Finally, what are you plans for after graduation? After graduation, I am planning on attending UNH. I will be undeclared in the College of Health and Human Services exploring different careers in the health field.

-- As told to Nick Giannino

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