Badminton Encouraged By Close Win Over SD Mesa

Rhea Zou in action in a recent home match.
Rhea Zou in action in a recent home match.

The Pasadena City College women's badminton team figured its trip to face San Diego Mesa might be a preview of the two top teams in the South Coast Conference this season. After a 12-9 win over the Olympians on Feb. 24, PCC learned it has work to do to maintain a separation from Mesa.

The Lancers (2-0) and Olympians (1-1) fought five matches that went three sets with Mesa winning three of them.

However, PCC received key points from #3 singles player Nikki Ching and a last-minute replacement for #6 in Leslie Lien as they each won their two matches. Lien got by Mesa #6 Evelyn Dominguez, 21-9, 18-21, 21-19 and beat #5 Kathy Rodriguez, 21-11, 21-17. Ching swept #4 Becky Lester, 21-16, 21-8 and did the same v. #3 Ariana Huerta, 21-5, 21-9. 

Pasadena's #1 Rhea Zou lost to Olympians' #2 Megan Nguyen, 22-24, 21-17, 21-11, but then pulled out a win over Mesa #1 Erica Garcia Badaracco, 21-15, 9-21, 24-22. 

PCC's #5 Bingbing Ouyang won one singles match and played valiantly in losing to Dominguez in three sets, 22-20, 19-21, 21-13. She also played with Siya Zhang in #3 doubles, winning 21-8, 21-17. 

"We were pretty pleased with beating Mesa, but the closeness of the matches wlll push us to keep improving through practice," said PCC head coach Jen Ho. "I think our top of the ladder is capable but searching for consistency. Leslie gave us a big two points, stepping as a late replacement. Mesa is a really good team and we have to assume they will only get better in future matchups. I think now that the ladies see that we can win not playing at our best, this should help our confidence as a team."

The Lancers next play at defending state champion De Anza on Friday, Mar. 3 in a 5 p.m. non-conference match.