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The Mesa Press

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The independent student news site of San Diego Mesa College.

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The Mesa Press

The Mesa Press

As conference championships loom, the Olympian Badminton team is riding a 4-game winning streak.

The Mesa Badminton team is peaking at the right time. They have showed incredible resilience to bounce back and win four straight games after a tough loss against Pasadena City on March 14. Overall, Mesa is currently 9-1, losing only one conference game thus far in the season, on track for second place in the South Coast Conference. 

The biggest of those wins came versus the two-time defending champions, De Anza, who Mesa snuck past 11-10 on April 1. That makes it twice that the Olympians have bested the state champions this season. The first win came on the last day of February this year, where the Olympians won 14-7

A big part of the current winning streak is due, in part, to positive leadership. One of those leaders is Megan Nguyen. Last year as a freshman, Nguyen won the 2023 state doubles championship title. Nguyen, now a sophomore, chose to play one more season and looks to repeat her success with a new doubles partner, freshman Mylene Keophaseut. “She is a great leader by example, and she’s very encouraging to the other girls,” said head coach June Andrews about her sophomore player.

Badminton Court (David J. Bohnet)

Badminton is structured in a round robin fashion. Players often play in both singles and doubles matches, though not all are required to. Match scores are collected and tallied for the team after a player wins a best two out of three set, first to 21, with a margin of at least two. There are 12 singles matches and five doubles matches. Single matches are worth one point. Doubles matches count for two points (except the 5th match.) A total of 21 overall points are available. The team with the most overall points wins the match.

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In the match versus De Anza, the team led 9-8 heading into the last round of doubles. The top doubles pair of each squad plays each other, as do the number two pair, and so on. Nguyen and Keophaseut dominated both doubles matches. The pair needed only two sets to clinch a match victory, winning 21-14 and 21-11, gaining the two points required to push Mesa to 11 points and an overall team victory. 

Assistant Coach Thai Lay discusses shot selections with Megan Nguyen on March 14, 2024. (David J. Bohnet)

Skills like hand-eye coordination, stamina, and quick lateral movements are required to be an effective badminton player. Luckily for Mesa, many of their players have all the attributes needed to compete at a high level. “We hope to have at least six players qualify for state this season, in singles and doubles,” coach Andrews said in an email.  Mesa will look to improve their shot selection and conditioning with help from assistant coach Thai Lay, who has over 25 years of experience coaching and playing badminton. 

The final trio of games this season include East Los Angeles (won 18-3), El Camino, and a huge rematch against Pasadena City. The results of these conference matchups will determine the placement of teams in the Pacific Coast South Conference. Mesa finished second last year to Pasadena and will look to even the series this year against the current number one seed. Coach Andrews explained that, “if we beat [Pasadena City] we would have a chance to win overall games and go to the state championships,” setting the stage for what could be an exciting end of season for the Mesa team.

The Olympians are poised to dethrone the conference champions and bring Mesa its first conference title since 2001. The conference and individual state championships are slated to begin in May. 



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About the Contributor
David J. Bohnet
David J. Bohnet, Features/Sports Editor
David J. Bohnet is proud to be a part of the Mesa Press as the Features and Sports Editor. He hopes to shed light on important news and happenings around Mesa College and San Diego through his writing and photography.  He has a BFA from the University of Utahs' Actors Training program and is looking toward a masters in Journalism and Media Studies. David is hoping to feature the arts, sports, and entertainment with the occasional opinion piece. Stay tuned!
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