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Women's Badminton Captures First SoCal Championship

Women's Badminton Captures First SoCal Championship image

The 2010 Pasadena City College women's badminton team did something that no previous Lancers' team could accomplish Wednesday. PCC went to the wire in capturing the college's first Southern California Regional championship in the sport, defeating San Diego City College, 12-9, at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.

The Lancers (13-1 record) didn't clinch the title until the No. 2 doubles team of Jewy Liang and Anna Tom outlasted SDCC's No. 2 duo of Van Ho and Rosalinda Nguyen, 19-21, 21-18, 21-19, in the decisive last contest. Pasadena had failed in past SoCal title matches, losing in 2000, 2001, 2004 and last year. 

PCC led in team points, 10-9, with the 2-point doubles match the only match not completed after both combos split the first two sets. In the third set, Liang-Tom fell behind 6-3 and 13-12 before the Lancers' pair strung together an 8-1 run to send it to championship match point. 

SDCC's Ho-Nguyen refused to quit, scoring five straight points to cut it to 20-19. Finally, Liang's soft volley could not be returned by a rushing Nguyen as PCC secured match point.

"When they started to comeback, I felt we had to just remember to stay calm," Liang said. "We had the big lead, but we started making mistakes. All we thought was that we needed one point and we got it. We talked about being more aggressive in the third set and that strategy worked for us."

During the third set, both Liang and Tom used a combination of hard, overhand smashes and crossing backhands to score several points.

The two-time defending South Coast Conference champion Lancers now host the CCCAA State Team Championship Thursday, May 13 (3 p.m. start) as it will face North Region champion City College of San Francisco. 

Liang, the team's No. 2 singles player, recorded two singles wins along with teammates, No. 1 Iris Xu and No. 3 JK Nguyen-Le. PCC Head Coach Bill Sanchez pointed to a pair of wins by his No. 5 player Amber Turner and No. 6 player Anne Mosching as important points in the team's triumph.

Turner downed Tanya Maldonado, 22-20, 18-21, 21-10, and Mosching also defeated Maldonado, 21-13, 21-11. 

"The players have really come together, and this title is all about them making sacrifices and raising their competitive level," Sanchez said. "We've been talking about getting here for a month-and-a-half now. To win the SoCal championship is something they can all cherish. Now we get a shot at the state title next week, so the fun just continues for this group."

In talking about the duo of Liang-Tom, a freshmen combo that played together at Alhambra High before coming to PCC, Sanchez was impressed by their demeanor in the last game.

"They seem so calm when you watch them play, you don't know if they are up by 10 points or down by five," he said. "They know what each other is going to do. You don't get any more pressure than that last set. All the eyes were on them and they came through."

San Diego, the Orange Empire Conference champion, saw its team season end at 8-1 overall. For the Knights, their No. 1 doubles team of Tinh Nguyen and Crisselda Vinluan recorded wins over Liang-Tom, 21-17, 16-21, 21-18, and PCC's No. 1 squad of Xu-Nguyen-Le, 21-17, 21-10. 

PCC is advancing to the state team final for the first time since badminton became a California Community College intercollegiate sport in 2000. 

[Photo--Jewy Liang (left) hits a shot with doubles teammate Anna Tom (right) looking on during PCC's 12-9 victory for the SoCal Regional championship Wednesday at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 05/05/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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