Sports in the News
Milestone 50th Coaching Win For Badminton's Sanchez
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