Sophomore Christina Auyeung and junior Jamie Campisi stand on the tennis courts at Goodman Stadium on Thursday, March 10, 2016. The duo won their most recent match Saturday against Colgate University. (Christopher Gaetano/B&W Staff)

Tennis soul sisters: Jamie Campisi and Christina Auyeung

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The friendship between junior Jamie Campisi and sophomore Christina Auyeung began even before they were both enrolled at Lehigh.

Campisi and Auyeung, members of the Lehigh women’s tennis team and doubles partners, first met when Campisi hosted her now-teammate on her recruitment visit during Auyeung’s senior year of high school. From there, Campisi knew they’d be a good pairing.

“We were very comfortable with each other very quickly, and I think that has to do with that we both played a lot in high school and had very similar high school experiences with tennis,” Campisi said. “I don’t know, we’re just kind of tennis soul sisters.”

But Auyeung wasn’t even planning on coming to Lehigh at that point. The Midland, Michigan, native was nearly sold on going to Iowa State University, but she answered an email from then-Lehigh tennis coach Dave Shook to give Lehigh a visit before officially deciding.

When she did visit, Auyeung realized Lehigh was where she wanted to be.

“I came up here and fell in love with it,” Auyeung said. “I loved the team, I loved the campus, I loved the atmosphere. It really worked out.”

And as that friendship sparked nearly immediately, so did the girls’ time as doubles partners.

Campisi said they were paired together less than a month into the 2015 season, Auyeung’s freshman year. They were put together during one practice early in the season and have stayed together ever since.

She added that their styles and personalities complement each other well, allowing for a seamless transition from off-the-court to on-the-court compatibility. Auyeung likes playing the forehand side, while Campisi likes the backhand side.

Campisi said because Auyeung was so talented already, her being a freshman had almost no impact on getting used to playing at the college level.

“We knew (Auyeung) was going to be an amazing player even before she got here,” Campisi said. “(Auyeung) is probably the best tennis player that Lehigh women’s tennis has ever had.”

Lehigh women’s tennis coach Wouter Hendrix, who has held the position for the past two seasons, agreed that Auyeung is the best player he’s seen since he began coaching the team.

“We’ve had some very impressive student athletes here over the history, but she’s definitely up there,” Hendrix said. “Just her intelligence on the court and her leadership, it’s something that really lifts everyone’s level up.”

He added Campisi has stepped into an important leadership role as team captain on a team with no seniors.

“She could’ve been captain her freshman year,” Hendrix said. “It’s just her personality, it’s one of leading and setting good examples, and expecting excellence from everyone on the team. Those kind of intangibles, you can’t measure that, it’s super important for a team obviously.”

Auyeung said Campisi is someone she can easily rely on for support. Auyeung’s explanation of their dynamic as partners was nearly identical to Campisi’s.

They both said they like to play with a lot of emotion and keep each other fired up. But they also both noted neither will be emotional at the same time.

They said being such close friends makes it easier to keep each other accountable.

“The minute one of us gets emotional and the other one gets emotional, the other one snaps out of it and picks the other back up,” Auyeung said. “It’s a very mutual thing that’s going on, and it’s so nice to have that.”

That mentality led them to an undefeated record in Patriot League play in 2015, and the women said they expected to ride that momentum into league play this year, which began on March 20 against Loyola University (Maryland). Their record in the league this year is 3-1.

“This year has really been about trying to carry over how we ended last year, which was on a very, very strong note,” Campisi said.

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