Badminton team battles through injuries to key players

March 31, 2015 — by Spring Ma and Eileen Toh

Despite playing with a lineup missing several key players, the Falcons began league play with a home win against Cupertino on March 24.

Senior Max Chang, the No. 1 boys’ doubles player, has a stress fracture in his foot, No. 2 girls’ doubles player junior Mena Wang has sprained her ankle and No. 2 boys’ doubles player sophomore Josh Li has a fractured wrist.

Despite his injury before beginning the season, Li said he is on the “road to recovery” and will be on the court again in mid-April. For the past several weeks, Li has had to leave his boys’ doubles partner, sophomore Jason Zhao.

“I went from playing every day to not playing for a whole two months, so it has definitely been hard to cope with,” Li said. “My wrist has been feeling better though, so I’m definitely looking forward to playing again.”

Similarly, Chang and Wang, who also play doubles, have been sidelined. Their partners, senior Kevin Lian and senior Audrey Sun, look forward to their recovery.

Despite injuries, the team defeated Cupertino 20-10, the No. 3 team in the SCVAL league.

“We had to shift many players around to positions they may or may not have been used to playing,” assistant coach Chris Do said. “[Cupertino] is a very strong team, so I’m very happy for our team.”

The team compensated for the loss of key players with cohesive play, winning a majority of its matches, such as mixed doubles No. 2 (juniors Karen Chen and Partha Shah) and girls’ singles No. 2 (freshman Mana Shimokawa).

Do remains hopeful, however, that the team will “adapt to the current situation as well as they can, until all of the injured players can return.”

Due to printing deadlines, the Falcon was unable to cover the team’s games against Palo Alto on April 2 and Lynbrook, one of the Falcons’ main competitors, on April 7. The team will next play Gunn on April 14 and Los Altos on April 16.