PCC’s badminton team — who objectively has been the most successful athletic team this school has seen in recent years, winning back-to back state championships and going undefeated during that span — lost their first game since 2016 on Friday.
De Anza College was able to do what no other college has done, and topple the undefeated team. In fact, the match wasn’t even close with the final score being a lopsided 19-2.
“Our team was quite energized from that win,” said Mark Landefeld, the head coach of De Anza’s team. “De Anza and PCC have a tradition of an in-state rivalry when we play each other home-and-away each season.”
The last time PCC’s badminton team lost a game was against Fresno College in the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) State Championship game. De Anza’s last victory over PCC came all the way back on April 2, 2014. Luckily for PCC, this game was a rare non-conference matchup, meaning their streak in conference games lives on.
“I really hate losing games, conference or non-conference games,” said PCC’s head coach, Jennifer Ho. “We are going to focus on communication these next couple of games so we are prepared for Friday.”
PCC’s badminton team looks significantly different from the back- to -back state championship teams. Only two players, Xiaoming Yao and Jessica Lee, are returning from last year. Eight freshman make up most of the roster.
“Some of us are playing in our first year,” said Yao. “We had a lot of experience on the team last year, and we hope to build some experience so we don’t lose any more games.”
The team’s inexperience showed during the match, with De Anza clearly overpowering the freshmen players.
“We recognize that PCC is getting needed experience right now, something where we currently have an advantage over most of their lineup,” Landefeld said. “That allowed us to manage many of our matches by staying focused on immediate tactics, and avoid risky choices. We have no doubt that PCC will be tougher when we visit them on April 1.”
Ho’s team will look to rebound from this rare loss when they play against El Camino on Friday, before getting a chance at revenge against De Anza next month.