CCS badminton: home court advantage

CCS badminton: home court advantage

Eric Wong

CCS badminton semifinals were held at MVHS on May 26 with three Matadors competing

Boys singles – Junior Gary Wang vs. senior Zenas Lam of Mountain View (L:10-15, 9-15)

After roaring outo a 6-0 start in the first set, junior Gary Wang lost momentum and eventually was defeated by senior Zenas Lam of Mountain View High School, who was seeded number one overall for the boys singles bracket. Even with a combination of well-placed drop shots, Wang was unable to hold off Lam's relentless back court smashes. Lam slowly regained control of the match and went on a five point run to make the score 7-8.  Though Wang did score a few more points, he eventually lost the first set 10-15.  Junior Gary Wang leaps up to smash the birdie in a close match against senior Zenas Lam of Mountain View High School. Photo by Eric Wong.

"I was in the lead. I got tired and I wasn't really as focused. Some of my shots caught the net, but overall, I played well," Wang said.  

Lam took control from the beginning of the second set, trading points until he went on a six point scoring streak to make the score 3-9.  Though Wang rallied to make the score 9-13 with a number of short, well-placed shots and desperate dives to keep a number of plays alive, Lam closed out the game to win 15-9.  

Despite the loss, both Wang and his father were proud of Wang's performance.  

"[Gary] is playing a lot better in terms of his strategy and positioning. As he plays more and more, he's getting mature," Mr. Wang said. 

Though the loss puts him in the losers' bracket, Wang still has a chance to place in the top three for CCS if he wins his matches on May 27.  

Girls doubles – Seniors Jennifer Chen and Tiffany Chang vs. Sharon Hao and Angela Horng of Lynbrook (W:15-5, 17-15)

As first time CCS competitors, the girls doubles team of seniors Jennifer Chen and Tiffany Chang knew they wanted to win. After winning the frosh-soph division of SCVALs as freshmen, the two girls missed out on qualifying for CCS their sophomore and junior years after falling short in the SCVAL tournament.Seniors Jennifer Chen (right) and Tiffany Chang (left) listen to instructions from the tournament director at the start of day two of the CCS badminton championships.  Photo by Eric Wong.
"I've been on varsity for all four years [of high school]," Chen said. "It has been our goal since sophomore year of making CCS." 

This was their year, as they breezed through the first two rounds to reach the semifinal round, where they defeated Sharon Hao and Angela Horng of Lynbrook in two straight sets.  Though unseeded, Chen and Chang knew they had a much better chance than their ranking suggested. 

Chen and Chang got off on a good start, when Chen aggressively drove the birdie right in between the two Viking players to take the lead, 7-4.  With strong net play by Chang and a number of unforced errors by the Vikings, Chen and Chang found themselves up 14-5.  Then, Chen made a hard smash shot to close out the first set 15-5. 

"[Afer that first set], we began to feel confident," Chen said. "We told ourselves, 'It could happen.'"

Though Chen and Chang squandered an opportunity to close out the game at 14-12, they continued to play aggressively while maintaining their composure.  Tied at 15-15 during the second set, Chen and Chang continued to attack, hoping to avoid having to play a tiebreaker set. 

"Basically, I was telling myself, 'We got to 14 first, there is no way this is going [a third set],'" Chang said. "I just thought to kill the birdie, keep it in play and hit the birdie fast with plenty of drive shots."

Eventually, Chen and Chang prevailed 17-15, with the two Vikings sending their last shot spiraling into the net. With the win, Chen and Chang will be facing the duo of Catherine Wu and Linda Zhang of Gunn High School for the final round on May 27. With the strong play that the two girls are display, their dream of CCS champions lies one win away.