After an undefeated regular season and postseason, PCC’s badminton team are now state champions, making them only the second women’s athletics team in the history of the school to earn that title.
Their perfect season came to an end at 13-0, by large win margins no less, with victories against El Camino and East Los Angeles both at home and away. In playoffs, they accomplished what they missed last season: titles in both the singles and doubles categories. For Coach Jennifer Ho, the accomplishments don’t end there.
“We want to win all three, in singles, doubles and team,” Ho said. “We have a young team of mostly freshmen so they’re all coming back next year and they’ll come back stronger.”
The youth of the team was another factor of the team’s success this year, as well as having strong players across the board. This strength, however, came at no easy feat.
“Conditioning was a lot, we had to work hard on our footwork,” said freshman Sarah Thaw, who placed second in the state for singles. “Sometimes coach would be late but we would immediately start practice anyway.”
Individual hard work was only one factor for the team’s success, their unity was another. For them, the match in San Francisco in March relieved this pressure. The girls got closer to each other as they bonded in their hotel rooms, and the win was the cherry on top for the trip. Ho loved seeing the priceless joy on the girls’ faces when they finished the match.
This team mindset translated into practice as well.
“Every time we make a mistake, we improve it together,” said freshman Amy “Junting” Huang. “We’re very supportive and never bring each other down.”
The team as a whole never faltered in their effort either, dominating the court, be it in game or practice.
“It’s a very challenging sport, it takes coordination and quickness,” Ho said. “They come to practice consistently and never take it lightly.”
The support for this outstanding team and their equally outstanding performance is strong in the Athletics department as well, as acknowledged by Athletic Director Tony Barbone.
“They’re an athletic director’s dream, they respect their coach and their college,” Barbone said. “We’re very proud of them and these girls were rewarded in the best way for their hard work.”
This title has made the girls memorable to the school’s athletic history and to anyone who’s come in contact with the team through their everlasting strength, a sentiment expressed by Dean of the Kinesiology and Athletics department, Dyan Miller.
“I know all the girls and I’m so impressed by them, it’s something they’ll remember forever,” said Miller. “The team is very diverse and that helps the student population, and it teaches them leadership, which is something they’ll carry with them into the future.”
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