Student athlete profile - Rachele Cameli

Rachele Cameli


When did you first start playing badminton?

When my sister was in high school and she also played badminton. I started at a pretty young age, sometime in middle school. I played at Midwest Badminton Club.

Is competitive badminton like backyard badminton?

No. I would say it's a lot different. In backyard badminton, there are not as many boundaries and it's not as fast-paced. It's more light-hearted. Competitive badminton is obviously more competitive.

Do you prefer playing singles or doubles?

I definitely like playing doubles because it's a faster-paced game than singles and it relies more on teamwork and communication in order to score. I'm playing with the same partner as last year, Maria Jiao, and I feel like we've developed more of a friendship and bond on and off the court.

How have you improved?

My court sense has gotten a lot better this year. I feel I hit to a lot more open spots and spots that people aren't. I feel like I have a good court awareness this year.

Do you have any pre-match routines?

My team just started pasta parties this year. Every Friday before our Saturday tournaments we get together and eat and all hang out. Before matches I typically listen to music. I have specific playlists that get me into the mood for the game.

What is the best advice you've gotten from a coach?

To leave everything on the court and just control my emotions during intense matches.

What is your goal for the season?

I would say definitely (to be) first in conference and first place in sectionals. Last year my partner and I placed sixth in doubles in state, and so this year (our goal) is to definitely do better than that.

What are your plans for next year?

I'll be attending Marquette University and I'm in the college of health science. My undergrad is in exercise physiology. I also got direct admit, so I'll be in the doctorate program in physical therapy at Marquette.

Why does coach Katie Maley like having Cameli on the team?

Rachele is 100-percent committed to the game. I love her passion and her competitive spirit. She has such a high badminton IQ and it so fun to watch play.

- profile by Pamela Lannom, photo by Jim Slonoff

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean