Badminton's 51-Match, South Coast Conference Win Streak Snapped By Irvine Valley

The Lancers #1 doubles of Nikki Ching (left) and Cindy Zhao in action during today's match.
The Lancers #1 doubles of Nikki Ching (left) and Cindy Zhao in action during today's match.

A South Coast Conference winning streak that started when Pasadena City College women's badminton head coach Jen Ho took over the program in 2015 came to end Wednesday. Irvine Valley stopped the Lancers' 51-match conference win string, 14-7, at PCC's Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.

Pasadena (1-2 overall, 1-1 now in conference) had undefeated conference runs to the SCC crown in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, won three matches in the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season, and had won its 2022 SCC opener before the Lasers finally halted the impressive streak.

"It's disappointing because I really thought we could do enough to beat Irvine," Ho said. "We are a young team, some of them learning the sport the past few months, and it cost us against more experienced and older IVC players who play with strategy. Our conditioning wasn't good as we lost the late doubles. We are going to practice hard and I think we can really challenge Irvine in our next matchup with them."

PCC trailed 10-7 going into the final round of doubles, needing to win both to keep the streak alive. However, Irvine Valley's top two duos swept PCC's #1 and #2 pairs. 

The Lasers (3-0) were hosted into the South Coast this season along with San Diego Mesa as both have played previously in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference. In fact, the last time Pasadena faced IVC was in the 2018 Southern California championship match, won by the Lancers, 15-6. PCC went on to win its second consecutive CCCAA state title.

The last time Pasadena lost in SCC play was on April 23, 2014, the final day of that season, 16-5, against East Los Angeles. Ho became the program's head coach the following season.

Irvine Valley went 3-1 in matches that went all three sets as the team's played close throughout the afternoon. 

On March 11, the Lancers were beaten by host De Anza College, 15-6, in a non-conference match. 

The Lancers will try to get back on track on Friday, March 18 in a 2 p.m. conference match at East LA. 

Box Score
Irvine Valley 14, Pasadena 7

(scores in order of winning player)
PCC #1 Cindy Zhao lost to IVC #1 Yan Luo, 21-16, 21-12; d. #2 Chih Cheih Huang, 21-19, 21-17. 
PCC #2 Nikki Ching lost to Luo, 21-6, 21-12; lost to Huang, 21-12, 12-21, 21-18
PCC #3 Joanna Dinh lost to IVC #3 Elise Lau, 21-18, 20-22, 21-11; lost to IVC #4 Weichin Hsu, 21-19, 21-18
PCC #4 Karen Chen lost to Lau, 13-21, 21-16, 21-15; Chen d. Hsu, 8-21, 21-19, 21-14
PCC #5 Charlene Chen lost to IVC #5 Wai Kei Wang, 21-15, 21-4; d. IVC #6 Jingting Li, 21-12, 21-18
PCC #6 Elizabeth Mondragon lost to Wang, 21-9, 21-9; d. Li, 21-17, 21-17
PCC #1 Zhao-Ching lost to IVC #1 Luo-Huang, 21-15, 21-17; d. IVC #2 Lau-Hsu, 21-15, 21-19
PCC #2 Chen-Chen lost to Luo-Huang, 21-6, 21-13; lost to Lau-Hsu, 21-13, 21-10
PCC #3 Ding-Coco Wen d. Wang-Li, 21-13, 21-18.