The women’s badminton team extended their winning streak to four games with a clinical 20-1 drubbing of last year’s South Coast Champions, East LA Huskies on Friday at Hutto-Patterson gymnasium, which involved a standout performance from the Lancers doubles team who didn’t drop a set.
No. 1 doubles team Rebecca Tzou and Zin Win Maw utilized a mix of pinpoint power and slick court awareness which enabled them to dictate play in their 21-9, 21-7 and 21-4, 21-3 victories. Tzou’s aggressive and overwhelming style of play was complimented by Maw’s deft touch and accurate placement, which resulted in numerous winners and forced their opponents into errors.
Maw attributes her successful partnership with Tzou to their deep understanding of each other’s play, experience and meticulous preparation.
“We’ve been playing together since last semester and we have been preparing for this season and also we try to play together at club level when we’re free, so we’re used to each other,” Maw said. “We don’t really need a lot of communication.”
Rookie and undefeated head coach, Jennifer Ho believes her team’s depth is a huge factor in the girls’ early season success and she feels fortunate to have multiple options to choose from when she needs to select the team, which can be a tough proposition.
“We are very fortunate to have a second string team that is very strong,” Ho said. “Sometimes I don’t know who I want to play, I have such a big team. I try to play most of them, if they don’t play singles they get doubles or vice-versa.”
Also No. 1 in singles, Tzou put in a dominant display in her 21-8, 21-8 and 21-5, 21-1 wins and acknowledged that her hand-eye co-ordination, placement and footwork were highlights in her penetrating performances.
“Keeping my eyes on the bird, follow where it goes,” Tzou cited as the best aspect of her high-level of play. “A lot of the time people don’t watch the bird and their feet don’t follow and I think what I did good was basically follow the bird everywhere, with my feet, not just my eyes.”
Tzou is intent on making a big contribution on the court this season, but also feels that she can impact her team off the court by mentoring less experienced players by sharing helpful tips and valuable encouragement during matches.
“Give them tips in how they hold their rackets or strategy, if I’m not playing I would be walking around coaching and helping them and cheering them on,” Tzou said. “Cheering also helps a lot, just to know that someone is there for you and I think that is really important. A lot of the higher players I try to tell them to help the younger ones.”
No. 2 doubles team Eugenia Mendez and Carmina Ortiz conceded the least amount of points out of the Lancer’s doubles teams, in their 21-4, 21-7 and 21-3, 21-5 straight-forward wins that were not only dominating on the scoreboard, as a couple of Mendez’s overhead smashes resulted in the bird colliding into her opponent’s sternum and shoulder.
Tzou was full of praise for Ortiz and Mendez’s partnership, as the No. 1 singles player likened their method of play to her own technique with Maw.
Mendez also produced an inspiring level of play in her 21-6, 21-4 and 21-7, 21-6 singles victories, with her forceful and cunning shots making her Huskies’ opponents scurry around the court on their backfoot.
The PCC ladies’ badminton team competed in the Coast Conference Tournament against De Anza College and hosts’ Skyline College in San Bruno on Saturday and Maw, Mendez and Ortiz produced top-class performances, which left them undefeated in the group A singles and doubles draws.
Maw overcame her De Anza College opponent 21-10, 21-17 and then combined with Tzou to account for their De Anza rivals 21-10, 21-15 and 21-4, 21-5.
Ortiz fought tooth and nail in her 24-22, 21-12 victory over her Skyline adversary and had an easier time of it against her De Anza challenger, winning 21-11, 21-10. Ortiz joined forces with Mendez and prevailed 21-17, 21-7 over their De Anza opposition, while Mendez maintained her perfect record against De Anza, by triumphing 21-17, 21-11 and 21-7, 21-19.
Jennifer Delgado represented the Lancers in the group C singles draw and she gained inspiration from her higher ranked teammates by carving out an unbeaten record against De Anza with 21-11, 21-19 and 21-15, 21-7 victories.
The Lancers next conference matchup is against hosts’ ECC Compton on Wednesday, March 25 at 3pm.