Badminton Breaks Hex v. De Anza, Good Omen For State?

Anya Bondarenko (left) and My Linh Ly in action during PCC's win v. El Camino (photo and gallery by Richard Quinton).
Anya Bondarenko (left) and My Linh Ly in action during PCC's win v. El Camino (photo and gallery by Richard Quinton).

The last time the Pasadena City College women's badminton team beat its friendly rival from the North--De Anza College--was in April of 2018, which marked the Lancers last state team title in the sport. The Lancers ended a 7-match losing streak in the head-to-head series with the Mountain Lions with a 15-6 win in Cupertino on Friday night.

The Lancers (3-0 overall) are hoping this could be a sign of a return to state winner's circle this season. Last year, PCC only three loses were v. 2023 state champ De Anza, including a stinging 11-0 defeat in the state championship match. 

"For confidence alone, this was a big win for us," said PCC head coach Jen Ho. "We did well in doubles and I think our depth came in handy, especially in the lower few of our singles ladder. We have a long way to go before we can start talking about does this mean we can go all the way. But De Anza has been the top program the last few years so we are pleased with this win for now."

Lancers #1 player Rhea Zou, a letterman, won a war over De Anza's top player Mailan Vuong, 21-19, 18-21, 21-10. She scored another win over #2 Renee Ou, 21-13, 21-11, and then teamed with PCC #2 Anh Vu Nguyen Tran to score top doubles wins over De Anza's #1 Ou and Kelly Tran, 21-10, 21-16 and #2 Jenny Thai and Vuong, 21-6, 21-16. 

Tran also was 2-0 in singles, including rallying to defeat Vuong, 16-21, 21-17, 21-16.

PCC #5 player My Linh Ly collected sweeps over DA's #5 Tiffany Tran (21-9, 21-6) and #6 Enya Liu, 21-17, 21-12 while Lancers #6 Sophie Chao did the same, beating Tiffany Tran, 21-8, 21-18, and Liu, 21-6, 21-8.

Playing at #4, Uyen Banh lost to Thai, 21-17, 21-18, but then won a close one over Kelly Tran, 21-18, 24-22. PCC's other team points came in #2 doubles as Banh and Ly defeated Kasey Walker and Enya Liu, 21-6, 21-11. Banh and Janet Diec played a marathon in losing to Ou-Kelly Tran, 21-18, 17-21, 21-14. 

On Feb. 28, the Lancers moved to 2-0 in South Coast Conference play with a 19-2 rout over El Camino at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. 

In that victory, Zhou, Tran, Diec, Chao, Karylee Peralta, and Laura Lin made it a perfect 12-0 in singles. Zou and Lin scored a 3-set win in #1 doubles and swept ECC's #2. Ly and Anya Bondarenko spilt their matches at #2 doubles while Diec and Vicky Ruan won the #3 doubles point.

PCC is participating today in the Coast Conference Individual Tournament at City College of San Francisco, then visits Compton for a conference match on Wednesday, Mar. 6.