Falcons send three onto NorCals

May 21, 2016 — by Isabelle Yang and Jason Zhao

After two long days, the Falcon badminton team members emerged victorious from CCS on May 13-14, sending No. 1 boys’ singles player Stephen Ding and No. 1 boys’ doubles players Partha Shah and Josh Li onward to play at the NorCal State Championships on May 21.

 

After two long days, the Falcon badminton team members emerged victorious from CCS on May 13-14, sending No. 1 boys’ singles player Stephen Ding and No. 1 boys’ doubles players Partha Shah and Josh Li onward to play at the NorCal State Championships on May 21.

At CCS, Ding lost to Wilcox No. 1 player Darren Yang in the first round 21-17 and 21-14. Ding then went to the consolation round, losing to Wilcox again for the second/third place spot 21-17, 21-17 and 21-15, earning third place.

“We didn’t even think we would place in CCS, so [qualifying for NorCals] was a big accomplishment,” Li said. “It just proves that the hours we spent training paid off.”

Li and Shah also lost in the first round to a pair from Burlingame High 22-20 and 21-15. Despite their early loss, they went to the consolation bracket, managing to fight their way back up for the second/third place spot. But they lost to a Palo Alto pair 21-19, 22-20 and 21-18, earning themselves third place in CCS.

No. 1 mixed doubles junior Spring Ma and senior Michael Owyang did not have the same success. They beat Santa Teresa in the first round 21-17 and 21-19 but then lost to Gunn 21-13 and 21-13. They then proceeded to the consolation round and lost to Lynbrook 21-16 and 21-19, not making NorCal qualifications.

Prior to CCS, Saratoga sent a total of 24 players to Wilcox High School on May 5-7 to play at SCVALs.

In the tournament, Li and Shah managed to defeat a pair from Cupertino, which were seeded second in the tournament, 21-19, 23-21 and 21-14 to secure their spot in CCS.

“Our chemistry on the court was clearly better than theirs which helped us win,” Li said.

They later went into the finals against Palo Alto where they played a best of three games but lost 2-1.

At the end, Ding placed fourth; Shah and Li placed second; and Ma and Owyang placed fourth, all qualifying for CCS.

After a rough 2015 season, the team was able to rebound this season.

“Placing in two events at CCS isn't the usual for most teams,” assistant coach Chris Do said. “Our players performed very well and pleased the crowd as we kept Saratoga badminton’s image nice and high.”

The Falcons finished with a record of 6-6 and ended up third in the league behind Monta Vista and Cupertino, a huge improvement from last year.

 

 
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