Double smash

Deepa Kollipara

MVHS badminton varsity mixed doubles crushes Wilcox in their first game.

The game ended faster than a shuttlecock could fly as badminton varsity one mixed doubles partners junior Diane Keng and senior Michael Wang emerged victorious against Wilcox on March 24. It was an unexpected match because Wang and Keng are not regular partners. Keng’s regular partner was injured, leaving Wang, who normally plays varsity boys singles, to fill in temporarily. “We’re getting there. We only had a week, so we practiced together intensely,” Keng said. The game started with a quick and easy smash, landing the first point to Wilcox. Keng was swift to retaliate as her next drop was too low for Wilcox to counter. MVHS continued to dominate as Wang smashed the shuttlecock in succession from behind, handing the first game to MVHS 11-7. As the teams switched court sides for the second game, nothing seemed to have changed. Keng and Wang, against unexpected circumstances, displayed great teamwork as they grabbed a point by letting Wilcox’s clear go out of bounds. However, Wilcox seemed to be getting lucky as Wang’s shot went in the net with Wilcox leading 2-4. Keng, with a fierce shout of disappointment, also stumbled as her backhand shot ran into the net. Yet, MVHS came back as Wang and Keng began to push Wilcox back into the end of the court with forceful and difficult cross-court clears and smashes, gaining a lead of four points, 14-10. The last round went back and forth nonstop for what felt like an hour, finally with Wilcox throwing an poorly aimed smash that landed out of the boundaries. Keng and Wang won both games, giving the clear victory to the temporary partners. “This was a pretty good game overall. We had good rotation, and we made less mistakes than them,” Wang said. The win put the pair in a light mood. “At least I didn’t get hit [by shuttlecocks] this time! Usually [Wang] sets me up to get hit during practice,” Keng said.