The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Badminton defeats Fremont High School 29-1 in its first game

Matadors dominate their competition to start off the season
Dylan Nguyen
Senior and Varsity 1 Girls Doubles player Sruthi Venkatesan returns the birdie with a backhand. Venkatesan and her partner, senior Arshia Rikhi, won both sets 21-10 and 21-13.

Varsity Badminton defeated Fremont High School 29-1 in its first game of the season on Wednesday, Feb. 28. The team dominated the game, with the Boys and Girls Singles players winning all their matches and earning MVHS 12 points. The Girls and Mixed Doubles players also won every match, and the Boys Doubles players won two out of three matches. Ultimately, MVHS won by a near wipeout, losing only one match.

Going into the game, senior and Varsity 1 Girls Doubles player Sruthi Venkatesan felt confident playing against FHS, due to MVHS being in a higher division than FHS in the league. However, Venkatesan also felt concerned because she and her partner, senior Arshia Rikhi, had never played doubles together before. Despite this, Venkatesan and Rikhi won both their sets 21-10 and 21-6, respectively, and Venkatesan attributes their wins to the chemistry between her and Rikhi.

“This was our first time playing doubles so I’m really happy we won,” Venkatesan said. “We are really good friends so we understood each other and I think that translated onto the court for sure. Usually how you learn to play with a partner is through repetition, but we have a really strong bond so it was fine.”

Venkatesan also attributes the team’s win to the support she received from her coach and team captains. According to her, words of encouragement from the team helped her to dominate her match and achieve success.

“We have a new coach this year,” Venkatesan said. “He seems really sweet. During the game, he told us to stop trying so hard, and that definitely helped us succeed. Also, our captains are present and keeping things organized, which is a very good thing.”

Near the end of the game, junior and team captain Jayden Lim played the Varsity 2 Boys Singles match, winning both sets 21-8 and 21-13. Lim not only performed well in his own match but also motivated the team to succeed by providing advice and support. As a team captain, Lim has seen the team improve throughout practices and attributes MVHS’s win to the dedication of the players.

“We dominated Fremont, and I’m really proud of all the work our team has been putting in the past year,” Lim said. “We go to practice consistently, work hard and make it onto the lineup.”

Badminton Coach Russell Okuno, who has over 20 years of coaching experience, expressed his excitement for coaching MVHS. With this season being his first year at MVHS, Okuno overcame the challenge of cutting half of the people at tryouts to craft a team of talented players. Despite this obstacle, Okuno attributes the first win of the season to the natural talents and training of the players.

“The team did outstanding,” Okuno said. “I can see that their level and focus were much better in the match than in practice. I think, athletically, we have a lot of athletic and well-trained players already, which makes it kind of easy.”

From watching the players on the court, Lim expressed hope, but also worry since many seniors on the badminton team graduated last year, leaving him unsure about this year’s season. Lim hopes that the team will continue to strive towards the best possible result, carrying its success throughout the season.

“We had a lot of seniors leave last year,” Lim said. “So we are kind of rebuilding. We did win by a landslide, which is great to hear. But I hope our team can put in a lot of effort into getting better and hopefully, we can do well this season.”

About the Contributor
Dylan Nguyen
Dylan Nguyen, Staff Writer
Dylan Nguyen is currently a junior and a staff writer for El Estoque. His hobbies include chauffeuring his friends across town, taking six hour naps and cooking everything-but-the-kitchen-sink meals.
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