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Badminton Clinches 4th Straight SCC Title, Host SD City In SoCal Final May 2

Badminton Clinches 4th Straight SCC Title, Host SD City In SoCal Final May 2 image

The Pasadena City College women's badminton team and its all-freshmen roster clinched its fourth consecutive South Coast Conference title, setting up another trip to the Southern California Championship match. The Lancers will host San Diego City College Wednesday, May 2 in a 3 p.m. final at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.

Pasadena compled a perfect regular season at 13-0, 12-0 in conference matches, with a pair of easy wins over El Camino College Compton Center Wednesday. PCC won the regularly scheduled match, 17-0, then posted a 13-0 blanking in a match that was a make-up of an April 13 cancelation by Compton.

The Lancers extended their conference winning streak to 35 matches, dating back to their first match of the 2010 season. Undefeated singles and doubles ace Angie Ortiz finished the team season with a combined individual match record of 42-0.

SD City, the Orange Empire Conference champions at 8-0, features the state's top individual singles seed in LanAnh Nguyen. Nguyen and Tammy Vu make up the Knights' top-ranked doubles pair. In 2010, the Lancers won their only SoCal championship in downing San Diego, 12-9. Two years later, the foes meet again in the regional final.

If PCC defeats San Diego, it would play the North region's top team in the CCCAA State Championship team final on Thursday, May 10 (at San Diego City College). Pasadena also will participate in the South Coast Individual Tournament on Friday, May 4 at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club.

Of the team's accomplishments thus far, PCC Head Coach Bill Sanchez points to an April 20 blowout of conference rival East Los Angeles, 21-0, as a highlight. Earlier in the season, ELAC nearly upset the Lancers in an 11-10 PCC win that went down to the wire.

"Our ladder just keeps getting better," Sanchez said. "The players were determined to show the improvement. You don't often see scores change that dramatically against the same opponent, but this young group of Lancers have never stopped working hard. I never expected such a young team to develop so fast."

Sanchez has found two premium doubles pairs in Ortiz and Cynthia Gutierrez at No. 1 and Grace Espinoza and Kiwi Liang at No. 2. In singles, Ortiz, Gutierrez, Espinoza and Liang make up a strong top four while Gabriela Anjani and Alyssa Bolt are two of the better lower seed players at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.

The Lancers have never won the state title in the sport, but Sanchez is not thinking that far ahead yet.

"From what I've read, San Diego is as strong as advertised. We expect a great battle, but we're also playing on our home court. It should be a good one."

[Photo--Grace Espinoza goes for a shot with doubles partner Kiwi Liang looking on during a recent match, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 04/25/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu