Badminton team sends six players to first day of SCVALs

Badminton team sends six players to first day of SCVALs

Lisa Zhang

The players continue after their first round of SCVALs

After an emotional senior night and successful frosh-soph tournament over the previous weekend, the badminton team came ready to play at the SCVAL tournament on May 19. Senior Gary Wang, juniors Sam Jiang and Rachel Chiou, senior Robert Lee, and junior Jessica Dinh all won their matches decisively and moved on to the next round of SCVALs.

Lee beat Palo Alto High School Tom Lin (15-1, 15-4)

The beginning of the game started out evenly matched, but Lee soon pulled away with strong net play to gain an early lead. Lee kept Lin running across the court, and mistakes from Lin allowed Lee to easily take the first game 15-1.

“I was really lucky because my opponent fortunately was not one of the stronger ones of the league,” Lee said. “I was just trying to keep the rally going and keeping the opponent tired and towards the end,Senior Gary Wang smashes the shuttlecock onto his opponent's court. Photo by Erin Chiu. he wasn’t really running anymore.”

The second game started out very one-sided as well, as Lee pushed his opponent left and right with precise drops and smashes. Although Lin was initially able to keep up with a few net smashes, Lee was still able to pull through with an easy win with his second game to end the match at 15-4.

Homestead High School’s Sarah Chiu withdrew after suffering knee injury versus MVHS junior Jessica Dinh (15-3, retired)

Although Chiu got off to a stronger start and won the first two points of the game, Dinh retaliated with more aggressive shots to then take the lead 3-2. With powerful smashes and clears, Chiu was unable to return the shots and allowed Dinh to extend her lead 6-2. “I feel like she’s played for a while, so she knew where to hit and push me around, but I warm up really slowly,” Dinh said. “I usually wait until I’m losing until I catch up.”

After Chiu sent her shot past Dinh’s racket, Dinh spun around to hit the birdie with a no-look backhand for the point. Her high serves, drops, and consistency allowed her to continue racking up points, for a 15-3 victory.

With momentum from her first game, Dinh took the lead immediately in her second game. However, in the middle of the game, Chiu leaped in an attempt to return the shot but fell to the ground after landing with all her body’s pressure onto her knee. Chiu withdrew from the match after the injury, and Dinh took the victory by default. “I really wanted the match to end the right way. I feel cheated, and I feel that she was cheated too,” Dinh said.