News: Badminton's 41-Match Conference Win Streak Ends
There will be no "42" for the Pasadena City College women's badminton team. The Lancers saw their South Coast Conference winning streak end at 41 matches Wednesday as East Los Angeles College upended them, 13-8, at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
The streak for the four-time defending SCC champions began March 5, 2010 with a Lancers' 17-4 win over ELAC. The streak lasted more than three years. The Huskies had not beaten Pasadena since Feb. 27, 2009, losing 17 straight meetings with the Lancers.
The Lancers are 6-3 overall, seeing a 6-match overall win string snapped, and now 6-1 in SCC matches. The Huskies are 7-2 overall and in conference matches.
"It was going to end sooner or later," said PCC head coach Bill Sanchez. "A lot of things have to go right to keep a streak like that going year and year. I'm so proud of all the players that kept that streak going and saw pride in stretching it. We had some issues where we were forced to change our 6-player ladder and all of those changes were a little too much for us to recover from. Give East LA credit for going after us, it has a much improved team from last year."
PCC played without sophomore upper-ladder player Grace Espinoza, who is lost for the rest of the season due to a personal matter. Another Lancer had to be dropped from the singles ladder because of a last-minute scheduling conflict. With the changes, Sanchez was forced to move three lower ladder starters into the No. 2, 3, and 4 singles slots and insert two of his reserve players into the No. 5 and 6 positions. PCC also had to change its doubles pairings.
One player who was not phased by the changes was Lancer No. 1 player and defending CCCAA state singles champion Angie Ortiz. The sophomore recorded six of the team's points, winning over ELAC No. 1 Cherry Lai, 21-15, 21-17, and defeating Huskies' No. 2 Shirley Su, 21-7, 21-10. In No. 1 doubles, she teamed with Alice Liew to beat No. 1 Lai and Yuki Tai, 21-13, 21-9, and ELAC No. 2 Su and Suki Kwan, 21-8, 21-12.
At No. 2 singles, Shaghig Avedisian played well and beat Su, 21-18, 21-19. PCC's other point came from No. 4 Alejandra Palacios, who rallied to down No. 4 Kwan, 22-24, 21-18, 21-18. Although she didn't score a victory, sophomore Alyssa Boyt played valiantly in the No. 3 spot. She lost close matches v. Tai, 22-20, 21-16, and took Kwan to three sets before falling, 21-15, 17-21, 21-16. In No. 2 doubles with Avedisian, the pair battled before losing to Su-Kwan, 23-21, 21-19.
The difference in the match came down to the Huskies sweeping No. 3, 5, and 6 singles to gain six valuable points.
Barring anymore upsets, the Lancers should at least gain a share of a fifth straight SCC title. However, PCC can win it outright if it can beat ELAC on Wednesday, April 19.
"We're going to be okay," Sanchez said. "We will need other players to step up, but it's about earning the wins. If we practice hard, we can make it tougher for East LA in our next meeting."
[Photo--Shaghig Avedisian goes for the back-hand save on a shot with doubles teammate Alyssa Boyt looking on during the Lancers loss to East Los Angeles Wednesday at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 04/11/2013