By Gabriela Gomez
Husky badminton wrapped up the seasoan with losses at the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships on May 11th and 12th at San Diego City College.
Leanna Xu lost 21-13, 3-21, 21-16, in the first-round singles playing against Tina Lam from Irvine Valley College. Diana Su also suffered a loss to Melody Kuo from De Anza College, during her first singles round but qualified for the consolation round.
Su then went on to lose 21-16, 21-19, against Cynthia Gutierrez from Pasadena City College. Shirley Su was defeated in the first round 12-21, 15-21, by Rena Phairojmahakij of Irvine Valley College.
She also played a consolation round against Mai Shoua Her of Fresno College, losing 15-21, 15-21. Xu and Diana Su competed in a first round doubles play, losing to Melody Kuo and Katherine Ja from De Anza College.
The pair won 21-14, 21-16, during the quarterfinals against Tran Nguyen and Christy Llio of De Anza College. The team lost 21-17, 21-19, in the consolation semifinals to opponents Phung Nong and Dana Baniel who were representing the host school.
The team ended the season with seven wins and five losses. Overall, they ranked second in conference play. The team got off to a rocky start opening the season with a 6-15 loss against Pasadena City College.
Head Coach Qui Nguy said, Pasadena’s experienced players were considered their toughest competition throughout the season. Things turned around by game two of the season when the Huskies beat El Camino College 16-5 and swept Compton, beating them twice this season.
First-year college player, Shirley Su, qualified for the state championships in the singles event with a win against Kimiko Naguchi from El Camino College at the South Coast Conference Finals.
“The match against our No. 4 player Shirley Su and El Camino College No. 2 player was definitely the highlight of the season. That was a really exceptional job,” said Nguy, who is in his eighth year as coach.
He also said Shirley Su was the player who showed the most improvement throughout the season. Nguy pointed out that the team consisted of mostly new players this season.
“They did pretty well for having an almost brand new team,” Nguy said. Only two of the girls were returning players and six were first year players.
Xu and Diana Su, were the returning players that had the most experience in college competition. They are both singles and doubles players. Nguy referred to Xu and Diana Su as the players who carried the team because of their experience.
Next season only half of the team will return. Four of the girls are moving on to other schools, Xu will attend Cal State Los Angeles; Teresa Chiang is going to Oregon State University and Amanda Liu and Diana Su are headed to UCLA next semester.
With only four returning players left for next season, Nguy has already began looking into recruiting new players. He visits The Badminton Facility in the San Gabriel Valley and attends high school individual badminton games in search of new talent for ELAC’s next badminton season.