Badminton: Individuals excel at CCS even after team’s so-so season

May 30, 2017 — by Austin Wang and Alex Yang

Cheers erupted as junior Stephen Ding and his doubles partner, senior Josh Li, won their final game, to sweep the CCS badminton tournament on May 13 and take home first place. They won five matches and bested 13 other pairs on the way to their individual title.

Although the team as a whole dropped one division after a disappointing 1-11 regular season,  individual players looked to redeem the team by qualifying for CCS. They did this by placing in the top four spots at the SCVAL tournament from May 4-6.

Besides Ding and Li, the girls’ doubles duo of seniors Spring Ma and Megan Fung secured CCS berths. While it might seem odd that this individual success came after a less-than-optimal season, Ding said that it makes sense due to the unfortunate problems that frustrated the team this year.

“We lost many key players in our roster last year,” Ding said. “Plus, during season it depends on how well the whole team does. During league finals and CCS it’s more of an individual competition.”

Li said the CCS tournament took a lot of stamina from the duo, pointing to the five they had to play in one day in order to win.

Teamwork was also a key factor.

“Stephen and I worked together and it was pretty easy,” Li said. “We didn't drop any matches even though there was a match of three sets in the quarterfinals.”

The pair’s success ended at the NorCal tournament on May 20. They finished in second place after losing close contest to a pair from Dougherty Valley High School

Although they weren’t able to win the NorCal championship, Ding ended up feeling elated with the season’s end.

“I just wanted to have fun,” said Ding. “I don’t think about results, because it affects the way I play and it affects my performance.”

Li also enjoyed the tournaments and was glad to end his high school badminton career on a high note. Even though Li will be graduating  this year and going to Seattle University in the fall, he isn’t done with the sport just yet.

“I plan to continue playing badminton in college for fun and possibly do some tournaments,” Li said.



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