Even with their top four singles players missing in action, the women’s badminton team finished off the South Coast conference season in style by easily accounting for hosts El Camino College-Compton 21-0 on Wednesday and also claimed their third undefeated conference title in the process with a 12-0 SCC record.
Rebecca Tzou, Sandra Maw, Eugenia Mendez and Carmina Ortiz were rested by Lancers coach Jen Ho for their all-important Southern California championship match against Pacific Coast athletic title holders, San Diego on Wednesday.
Such is the depth and reliability of the PCC squad that the Tartars weren’t given an opening in any of the matches, with Amanda Awan and Jennifer Delgado leading the Lancers in a clinical display that produced straight-sets wins in every match.
Ho reflected on the perfect conference season and has nothing but pride for her team’s historical achievement and is satisfied that all their sacrifices paid off.
“I’m so proud of the kids, it was a good feeling yesterday driving thinking about it was a good year for me so far,” Ho said.
Ho recognized the big strides that Awan and Delgado have made throughout the season and acknowledged that both girls came through for the team at crucial times.
“The whole season I felt that Amanda and Jen had big improvement for me, especially Amanda, she is the baby of the team and 17,” Ho said.
Tzou echoed Ho’s sentiments and believes that Awan and Delgado have the potential to continue their impressive form into next season.
“I think those two are to watch for next season,” Tzou said.
As Ho’s attention shifts from soaking up her first SCC title to making the final touches in preparation for the SoCal championship match, she knows that the showdown with SD has a lot at stake and is aware of how dangerous their rivals can be.
“We need to think about next match, my mind was a little nervous regarding the next match,” said Ho, who believes their team will have their hands full against the top three singles players from San Diego.
“San Diego probably is the strongest one in the state right now, my opinion wise,” she said. “This is kind of big for me and the kids.”
Tzou admitted that Wednesday’s title match will come down to strategy and which team wants it the most.
“It’s going to be a tough game because San Diego is a pretty good team overall, so we’re going to have to dig deep and we’ve been training harder, doing more conditioning,” Tzou said. “But it still comes down to strategy, can we hold our own against them? They’re going to come fighting too.”
The Lancers top players will only get two days rest after the SoCal title match, as they take the court in the SCC individual championships at the Manhattan Beach badminton club on Friday, May 1.