Lancer Amy Huang in action at the SoCal Championships. She will be helping PCC as it goes for a state title on Thursday v. Fresno City at Mission College in Santa Clara, photo by Richard Quinton. For the second straight season, the Pasadena City College women’s badminton team is one step away from its first […]
Lancer Amy Huang in action at the SoCal Championships. She will be helping PCC as it goes for a state title on Thursday v. Fresno City at Mission College in Santa Clara, photo by Richard Quinton.
For the second straight season, the Pasadena City College women’s badminton team is one step away from its first state title. The undefeated, 3-time defending South Coast Conference champion Lancers will play a rematch of last year’s state final on Thursday, May 11 when they face defending state champion Fresno City College in the CCCAA State Championships match at Mission College in Santa Clara.
The Lancers (12-0) needed an 11-10 victory at Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champion Grossmont in the SoCal Championship to reach this year’s final. It will be the third time PCC advanced to the finals, losing 11-10 last year to Fresno and by the same score against City College of San Francisco in 2010. Both times those Northern California teams won on PCC’s home court–Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
Pasadena, 37-2 overall in head coach Jennifer Ho’s third season in charge of the program, is led by No. 1 singles player Sarah Thaw, the younger sister of 2015 state doubles champion Sandra Maw. Another key player is No. 3 singles player Natalie Ong. Ong and No. 4 Amy Huang make up one of the top South seed doubles in the CCCAA Individual Tournament May 12-13. PCC returns only one player from last season’s squad in Hong Yan Liu, who is playing at No. 2 this year after playing No. 6 in 2016. Thaw and Liu play team No. 1 doubles for the deep Lancers squad.
Under head coach Carol Kadingo, Fresno (7-1, the co-Coast Conference champions) returns its No. 1 and No. 2 singles players from last year in Lucy Lor and Panhia Vang. The pair also was the Rams No. 2 doubles team and then went on to reach the championship individual doubles final before losing. This year, the duo is the North’s No. 1 doubles seed in the individuals. PCC returns only one player, its No. 6 on the ladder in Hong Yan Liu, who is playing at No. 2 this year.
One thing that bodes well for PCC is that Fresno lost a late-season conference matchup against De Anza, 11-10, allowing the Dons to share the North title with the Rams. FCC won the tiebreaker between the two teams. The Lancers won two non-conference matches over De Anza, 18-3, and 19-2.
“We have been playing all year to get this opportunity to win a state title,” Ho said. “We came so close last year. We have a young team, but one that is more consistent throughout the ladder. Fresno will be tough and has returning players so we have to be ready. I expect it to be a close match.”
PCC finished the conference season with a 30-match SCC winning streak all under Ho’s watch. At the South Coast Individual Tournament on May 5 in Manhattan Beach, Thaw earned the SCC Singles Player of the Year while Ong-Huang was the SCC Doubles Team of the Year.