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Badminton Edged, 11-10, In SoCal Title Match By Irvine Valley

Badminton Edged, 11-10, In SoCal Title Match By Irvine Valley image

A year ago, the Pasadena City College women's badminton team needed a late doubles win to secure its first Southern California championship in the program's history against San Diego City College, 12-9. It came down to the final contest again when PCC suffered an 11-10 setback v. City College of San Francisco in the CCCAA state championship match.

On Wednesday, it was a similar story for the Lancers, who held a 10-7 lead, only to see host Irvine Valley College win the final two doubles contests to give the Lasers an 11-10 victory and the Southern California regional title.

Pasadena's season ended at 13-2. Orange Empire Conference champion Irvine Valley is 10-0 and will play either San Francisco or De Anza in the CCCAA team championship match Thursday, May 12 at CCSF. Irvine Valley has five state titles to its credit.

After IVC's Thuy Hoang and Maddie Sapigao defeated the Lancers No. 2 duo of Jewy Liang and Ellen Yu, 21-10, 21-14, PCC's team lead shrunk to 10-9. The match would be decided in No. 1 doubles. The Pasadena duo of No. 1 player Priscilla Lun and team captain JK Nguyen-Le battled IVC's top doubles team of Vimla Phongasavithas and Ann Nim.

Lun-Nguyen-Le grabbed the first game, 21-18, but PCC couldn't win that elusive next set. Instead, Phongasavthias-Nim rallied to win game 2, 21-17, and jumped out to a 12-6 lead in game 3. In that set, Lun-Nguyen-Le valiantly cut it to 20-18, but a serving error gave IVC set, match, and SoCal title point at 21-18.

At the top of the singles ladder, Lun was handed her first-ever defeat as a PCC player (dating back to her freshman season of 2009, sat out last year) by Hoang, 21-18, 21-17. The Lasers upper ladder had PCC's number as they took five of the six singles in matchups of Nos. 1-3 for each team.

The Lancers dominated the lower half of the lineup, getting two wins each from Amy Ly at No. 5 singles and Thoa Huyhn Ipictured) at No. 6 singles. Huyhn and Clara Chang also won at No. 3 doubles for the Lancers.

PCC Head Coach Bill Sanchez talked about two big factors in the defeat.

"We didn't anticipate Priscilla losing a match," he said. "We certainly were hurt by not having Iris Xu. When we lost her less than a month ago, it forced us to split what we felt were our best doubles teams. We still had the momentum late, but Irvine Valley just came up with huge performances in doubles to beat us."

While Lun was the team's top player this year, Xu was last year's South Coast Conference top singles player and PCC's No. 1 player on the state finalist team. She was lost with a leg injury last month.

Pasadena still walks away from dual play in 2011 with its third straight conference team title. The Lancers reached their third consecutive regional final match.

The individual season is still going as PCC will participate in the SCC Individual Championshps at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club on Friday, May 6, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

PCC's top players will then advance to the CCCAA Individual Championships at City College of San Francisco May 13-14.

Release Date: 05/04/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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