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Garofalo takes pride in inspiring younger players

Amanda Booth
Senior Olivia Garofalo inspires her younger teammates on the girls tennis team.

Senior Olivia Garofalo was inspired to play tennis in third grade by her first coach. Now she inspires her younger teammates. 

“My first coach always told me that I would be a great tennis player if I continued to keep up with the sport and improve on all of my skills,” Garofalo said.

Garofalo’s decision to get involved with athletics led to her passion for tennis. 

“I wanted to try out for tennis because I was not involved in any sports and I wanted to try something fun and new,” Garofalo said. “Eventually, I tried out and I absolutely loved it. I knew it was the sport that I would continue playing for years.”

Now, as a senior, Garofalo hopes to encourage her younger teammates to keep playing.

“I think it’s really fun being a senior and having the younger girls look up to me,” Garofalo said. “I hope I can inspire some of the younger girls to continue playing tennis.”

Junior Julia Johnson, who has been playing with Garofalo for three years, views her as one of the best leaders on the team. 

“She’s a very strong player. She boosts our morale and always puts full effort into her matches,” Johnson said.

Sophomore Milana Valente agreed.

“Everybody wants to follow in her footsteps, especially the JV team,” Valente said.

“Olivia sets a good example for everyone on the team,” Johnson said. “She’s a kind person loaded with team spirit. She plays her matches with everything she has. It’s admirable and impressive.” 

While her teammates value her as a leader, she is also one of the most talented players on the team. Valente, who was inspired to join the team because of Garofalo, admires her skills on the court. 

“She has really great skill, especially when it comes to aiming shots, speed, and overall being a very talented player,” Valente said.

Garofalo plays second singles for Baldwin, and her singles record for the season is 5-6.

“I think that I play best in singles because I can focus on only myself and my playing,” Garofalo said. 

This year, she qualified for the girls doubles tennis WPIAL championship for the first time. She and senior Gabi Moder competed in the first round of the championship but lost to Bethel Park.

Garofalo said she has no trouble motivating herself. 

“I am always sure to play my very best no matter what and always look for new improvements,” Garofalo said.

Her play and her attitude have even impressed college scouts.

“My proudest moment in tennis is when a scout from Pitt-Greensburg watched one of our matches and took an interest in my playing and my sportsmanship on the court,” Garofalo said. 

She does hope to continue playing tennis after high school. 

“It depends where I go to college, but I would really love to keep tennis in my life and play for years to come,” Garofalo said. 

Besides tennis, Garofalo is also heavily involved in the Baldwinaires, musical theater, and she is a choir officer. 

“Being involved in a lot of different activities is difficult, but it is possible,” Garofalo said. “For me, it does get stressful. But all of my hard work pays off in the end and I have something that I can be proud of. I always tell myself to keep going and I never give up.”

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About the Contributors
Amanda Booth, Multimedia Editor
Multimedia Editor Amanda Booth is a senior and a fourth-year member of the Purbalite. She can be found watching movies, binge watching a new show, or working at the movies. 
Connor Boros, Multimedia Editor
Multimedia Editor Connor Boros is a senior and second-year member of the Purbalite. He can be found with his girlfriend, on a fantasy football app, or fishing. 
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