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Milestone 50th Coaching Win For Badminton's Sanchez

Milestone 50th Coaching Win For Badminton's Sanchez image

It's 50 victories and counting for Pasadena City College women's badminton head coach Bill Sanchez as his all-freshman Lancers stayed perfect this season at 7-0 with three match wins last week. 

The milestone win was recorded Saturday when the Lancers downed De Anza, 15-6, in a non-conference match at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. The win was more special to Sanchez because it avenged an 11-10 road loss to the Northern California Dons last year that snapped PCC's 12-match winning streak to open 2011. 

In just his fifth season directing the program, Sanchez's teams have put together a remarkable run. PCC has a 50-9 current overall record in that time, including three consecutive South Coast Conference titles and a Southern California Championship in 2010. The SoCal title was a school first in the sport. PCC also holds a current, school record 29-match winning streak in South Coast Conference matches dating back to 2010. 

With the team reloaded despite no returning players, PCC's win over De Anza was buoyed by No. 1 player Angie Ortiz, who was tested in downing De Anza's No. 1 Melody Kuo, 21-10, 21-17, and No. 2 Katherine Ja, 21-18, 21-15. In No. 1 doubles, Ortiz teamed with Cynthia Gutierrez to score wins of 21-10, 21-4, and 21-8, 21-19.

At No. 3 singles, Grace Espinoza tallied a pair of wins, defeating Bonnie Liang, 21-17, 21-12, and Tran Nguyen, 21-15, 22-20. Gaby Anjani rallied twice to win in No. 4 singles, 21-19, 18-21, 21-17 over Liang, and in No. 2 doubles in a duo with Espinoza as they came back to down De Anza's top duo of Nguyen and Christy Ilio, 19-21, 21-17, 21-17. 

PCC (6-0 in conference play) could be headed to its fourth straight SCC crown after easy wins over El Camino, 19-2, on Mar. 30 and 21-0 over ECC Compton Center on Mar. 28. Both of those matches also were played at the Lancers' home gym.

Against El Camino, Ortiz, Espinoza, Anjani, No. 5 Alyssa Boyt and No. 6 Katy Li all swept their two singles matches while No. 2 Gutierrez needed three sets to beat the Warriors' No. 1 Corinne Belandres, 21-15, 18-21, 21-8. Ortiz-Gutierrez added a pair of doubles victories. Betty Bermudez teamed with Anjani for a win in No. 3 doubles.

In the Compton shutout, Ortiz, Gutierrez, Espinoza, Kiwi Liang, Anjani and Boyt did not lose a set in 12 combined singles wins. Ortiz-Gutierrez won two doubles matches as did Espinoza and Bermudez.

"Alyssa and Gaby battle like veterans out there, and they have created a solid lower ladder presence for our team," Sanchez said. "At the top of the ladder, Angie is as solid a player in the conference as you can find and with Cynthia, they form a potent doubles pair. Espinoza has played some flawless badminton in singles and has shown leadership qualities by playing well with two different partners over the weekend. I can't say enough about the team attitude, which is simply they refuse to lose."

PCC takes a break until Wednesday, April 11 when the team faces a stiff test against visiting East Los Angeles. Although the Lancers have already beaten the Huskies twice, East LA pushed them to the limit in an 11-10 PCC win on Mar. 23. 

[Photo--The No. 1 PCC doubles pair of Angie Ortiz (left) and Cynthia Gutierrez in action during the team's win v. Compton Mar. 28 at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 04/02/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu