In a shocking upset that brings them one step closer to the state title, the women’s badminton team snapped the 24-match winning streak of two-time state champions De Anza College with a 14-7 win in a non-conference matchup at home on Thursday.
The Lancers produced a scintillating singles display that yielded 10 wins out of 12 matches, with Eugenia Mendez, Carmina Ortiz and Priscilla Lam producing standout performances by prevailing in both of their matches.
Pasadena’s undefeated rookie coach Jennifer Ho and her team weren’t intimidated by the defending state champions due to their long-term planning and were satisfied that their hard work paid off.
“We knew they were the strongest team in the league right now, so I was prepared and the team delivered. We were planning a long time for this match,” Ho said.
Ho lauded Sandra Maw’s admirable performance, considering that she was pitted against De Anza’s top two singles players, which included Alice Liu, who hasn’t tasted defeat this season.
“I would say Sandra probably tried her best even though she didn’t deliver the win, but her opponent was more challenging,” Ho said.
Maw lost to Liu 21-12, 21-15 and had an easier time in her other match with a 21-10, 21-11 victory. The Lancer’s leading doubles team, Maw and Rebecca Tzou, lost a heart-breaking doubles match against their counterparts, 23-21, 16-21, 20-22.
Ho was adamant that her team won’t get too carried away with this breakout performance by thinking about the state title, as their next challenge is trying to account for San Diego College from the South conference.
“We have to beat San Diego first, which is the South,” Ho said. “We have to do one step at a time, my goal right now is focus on San Diego first and then I think we will face De Anza.”
The Lancers leapt to their eighth consecutive South Coast conference victory by sweeping visitors ECC Compton 21-0 on Friday.
Ho rested her top four singles players, Tzou, Maw, Mendez and Ortiz, after playing two matches in two days. ECCC was unable to field a full-team with two players missing.
PCC sits at 9-0 overall and will next face El Camino at home in a conference fixture on Friday at 2 p.m.