News: Badminton's Ortiz Survives 2012 State Final Rematch, Advances To Semis Saturday
Though there were 35 participants on day one of the CCCAA Women’s Badminton State Championships on Friday, all eyes were focused on two in a marquee singles quarterfinal matchup in Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. Defending state champion Angie Ortiz of Pasadena City College faced off against rival Evonne Zheng of City College of San Francisco with spectators crowded around the court and watching in silence during rallies and exploding with applause after points.
The nail-biter was a rematch of last year’s state final.
The sets were close, but Ortiz was able to hold on and defeat Zheng, 23-21, 21-19 for a chance to defend her title on Saturday in the semifinals. Ortiz also avenged a three-set loss to Zheng in an early season non-conference match.
“I was nervous at first,” Ortiz said. “It was nerve-racking especially since I played her last year, but I just had to settle down and play along.”
In the first set, Ortiz was humming along nicely with a 9-2 lead when Zheng began to pick up the pace and tied it at 15. After that, there were six ties before Ortiz was able to get the better of Zheng.
The second set wasn’t as close but was still a fierce competition with Zheng scoring the first point but unable to keep the lead for longer than the first rally. Zheng never trailed by more than six points and gained some ground near the end of the set, but ultimately Ortiz put a stop to it to defeat her again by a close two-point margin.
Last year in the state final, it took three sets for Ortiz to defeat Zheng but she did so with a greater margin by scores of 18-21, 21-12, 21-12.
In Ortiz’s first match on Friday, she faced Christina Ja of De Anza and won the first set 21-16. In the second set, Ortiz was down 9-11 at one point but staged a comeback with a 12-0 run to win, 21-11.
Four other Lancers participated in the tournament but they were all eliminated on Friday.
Freshmen Shaghig Avedisian and Alejandra Palacios paired up to defeat Linda Danh and Vivian Nguyen of Mission College, 21-19, 21-18, but later lost to Thao Nguyen and Darby Duprat of San Diego City in three sets by scores of 16-21 21-17, 21-11.
Sophomore Alyssa Boyt lost to Nancy Mei of CCSF in their first match of the day, 21-8, 21-17, then lost in the consolation bracket while Avedisian lost her first match as well, 21-5, 21-10 to Emily Ong from San Diego Mesa College. Avedisian later was eliminated in the consolation round against South Coast Conference rival Cherry Lai from East Los Angeles College, 21-14, 21-19.
Now Pasadena’s last chance is with Ortiz. “I’m worried about [De Anza’s] Pinky Li,” she said about her potential finals opponent. “I haven’t been able to beat her. She’s able to read my moves and hit the shuttle in the opposite direction, so I have to be patient.”
Before Ortiz takes on Li though, she must first get past Anna Nguyen of Skyline College in the semifinals when the tournament continues at 12 noon on Saturday. If Ortiz wins, she would play the winner of the match between De Anza's pair of Li and Katherine Ja at 1:30 p.m.
Release written by Sara Medina, PCC sports information assistant
[Photo--Angie Ortiz plays a shot during the CCCAA State Championships singles competition on Friday at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 05/10/2013