Student athlete profile

Name: Aishvarya Godla

Year: senior

Hometown: Oak Brook

How long have you played badminton?

I started playing freshman year, and I realized late in my freshman season that I could take my performance up a notch. Junior year and this season I've played on the varsity team.

What you enjoy about the sport?

Being able to work with my friends and being able to use strategy in matches and push myself to the limit on the court.

How have you improved since freshman year?

I think now of what to do with the birdie, like where should I hit it and how shard should I hit it. Reducing the amount of unforced errors has really been my focus.

What was your reaction when COVID canceled your sophomore season?

It was very disappointing because it came two days after I made the team. But I think it was also a moment for us to reflect and think about how much more we could improve for the next year.

How would your teammates describe you?

Motivated and fun. I try to take breaks in between drills to do some icebreakers just to get to know each other. As seniors, it is our job to make sure we can help other members of the team who do have less experience to give them a boost in morale and keep their spirits up.

What's your goal for the season?

Individually I hope to be on the state roster. For the whole team, I want to help our group of really talented underclassmen improve and grow closer to them.

Any pre-match rituals?

I usually talk to at least three friends who make sure I calm myself before stepping onto the court. I take a few breaths and hit a few pre-serves to get comfortable.

What else have you been involved in at Central?

Mock trial, JETS and I founded the Hinsdale Central Science Journal.

Where to post-Central?

University of Pennsylvania

Why does head coach Serge Penksik like having Godla on the squad?

Aishvarya is one of our team leaders. She's an excellent badminton player and also a very supportive teammate. Aishvarya has had some strong wins this year and is looking forward to finishing the season and her high school badminton career with strong performance in our conference.

- profile by Ken Knutson, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean