Defeats do not damper Falcons’ optimism

April 23, 2015 — by Spring Ma and Eileen Toh

After losses to Gunn 20-10 on April 14 and Monta Vista 23-7 on April 21, the badminton team is looking to learn from its mistakes and improve for the next games to come. 

After losses to Gunn 20-10 on April 14 and Monta Vista 23-7 on April 21, the badminton team is looking to learn from its mistakes and improve for the next games to come.

“So far, we’ve played every team in our league once,” assistant coach Chris Do said. “In the second half of the season, we’re hoping to improve our record by learning from our past games and remember what we did right.”

During the season, the  lineup had to compensate for injuries to key players such as boys’ No. 1 doubles player senior Max Chang, No. 2 boys’ doubles player sophomore Josh Li and No. 2 girls’ doubles player junior Mena Wang. Consequently, the team lost many key matches within the first half of the season. 

Do said that despite placing a few recovered players in the right positions for both games, they struggled to “keep up in the game” because of a lack of conditioning. As a result, he plans to execute more drills during practices that will help the players’ endurance.

During the Falcons’ close loss to Gunn, which boasts one of the top three teams in the league, many of the games went into three sets.

“As a team I thought we played pretty well,” said junior Michael Owyang, one of the team’s co-captains. “There were a lot of close matches that we could have won, and we will improve [our mistakes] when we play them again at home.”

Do said that although the team had a strong lineup, he believes many of the players had an “off day” and “weren’t putting out the quality performance that they do during practice and other games.”

Mixed doubles No. 1 faced a similar situation; the pair of Owyang and sophomore Spring Ma lost for the first time during league play this season. Owyang anticipates playing the Titans again, as the Falcons previously lost to the Gunn mixed doubles No. 1 pair at the Newark Varsity Tournament on April 4.

“I think we know where we are losing many of our points and understand them as players more,” Owyang said. “We played better than when we played them at Newark, so hopefully, we can beat them later in the season.”

Freshman Stephen Ding, the No. 1 singles player, struggled in his first set but ended up winning 2-1. Ding said that even though he was nervous at first because he had encountered his opponent, Gunn freshman Adrian Lee, at recent tournaments in the past, he learned to play smarter by reviewing the training he had gone through.

“I was able to look past the first lost set and continue on to the next two without losing confidence,” Ding said. “So for the next time we play, I have to work on reducing my mistakes so I don’t give away too many free points.”

Similarly, the Falcons encountered many close matches during their game against Monta Vista. The boys’ doubles No. 2 pair, seniors Max Chang and Kevin Lian, lost 21-19 and 21-18 to the Monta Vista pair. For the next game, Lian said the two hope to work on “pushing [their] opponents” and “not letting them have easy shots.”

As they enter the second half of their season, the Falcons hope to improve their 2-4 record, which ranks them fifth in the league.

The team looks forward to playing Gunn again on May 5 and Los Altos on May 7, in addition to playing at SCVAL League finals on May 18.

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