Dynamic duo key part of tennis team's success

By Donnie Moore - Staff Reporter

Highline freshman Amila Gogalija and captain Celeste Andreotti have had a great start to the tennis season, earning NWAC Player of the Week for weeks one and two, respectively.

Gogalija has gone undefeated in her singles matches all season so far. She has dominated her opponents all season long. 

"All-court player, amazing shot selection, point construction and just simply knows how to win," said Highline tennis head Coach Laura Rosa. "Gogalija is smooth and confident in both her footwork and strokes. She brings up the game for everyone on the team. [She's an] absolute delight to coach and committed to improving every time she steps on court."

Coach Rosa said she feels strongly about both players, recognizing their talents.

"Celeste is a crafty, smart player who simply does not give up in points; the longer the rally the more focused she becomes," said Coach Rosa. "She is a lefty who physically will do whatever needs to happen to walk off the court with a win. Celeste is the T-Bird team captain and an outstanding student who is currently dually enrolled at both Highline College and Central WU where she is working on a bachelor's degree in elementary education."

Andreotti and Gogalija are utilized in different doubles teams, but as a duo they have done very well, going  6-1 on the season.

"We complement each other's strengths and we work well on and off the court together. Communication and trust is key in doubles and that is something we both have in each other," Andreotti said . 

Andreotti and Gogalija have been able to establish a real bond with one another both on and off the court.  

"I think that Andreotti and I have been really great in doubles because we have great communication, we're very adjustable, and we have a great bond and friendship that I think is very hard to find in doubles partners. In fact we even have a nickname known as 'amillieotti'," Gogolija said.  

Andreotti and Gogalija try their hardest to have a healthy lifestyle to make sure they are in prime condition to perform in the matches."To stay at the top of my game every week I do my best to fuel my body. I try to get the proper amount of sleep, eat like an athlete, take care of academics so there is less stress to worry about," said Andreotti. "This really affects my game in a positive way and allows me to play to my fullest potential." 

Andreotti was named NWAC player of the week, for the week of March 29, while her counterpart was named for the week of March 22.

"Being named NWAC player of the week is such an honor. I am so proud of myself. It means so much to me and proves to me [that]when you put a lot of effort into something, dreams do come true," said Andreotti.  As the team captain, Andreotti pushes herself to make sure she is being in command of her play and ability to win.     

"My motivation to win is hitting every shot as if it is my last shot. To have fun hitting every ball. No matter what, I trust in myself to get the ball back and that is one of my biggest strengths, consistency," said Andreotti.  She not only cares about how she plays, but her teammates  too, making sure that everyone knows to be the best they can be.

"Our motto is out play, out last, out win and that's what we do. Our focus is to be the fittest team and that's how we practice. Intensity and focus driven every day," said Andreotti."With the help of coach Laura Rosa and our team, we work together in a way that complements each individual for complete success. Even if it doesn't mean a direct win against the team. We take it as a personal win because we all work together to outplay, outlast, and out win," said Gogalija. 

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