Sophomore Elaine Huang and senior Carolyn Nguyen and sophomore Betty Yang and senior Yingying Yan takes silver and gold in girls’ doubles respectively. Photo by Christina Johnson
Inside the gymnasium of City College of San Francisco gathered parents, friends and even local visitors. All were coming to watch and support the six different badminton teams at the annual All-City Championship, held on May 4. For the Lowell Cardinals, it was a day full of victories. They triumphed in all the doubles events taking first place, and won second place in the singles.
The day started with the girls’ singles. Faced against senior Tiffany Truong was the opponent from Burton, who has held the title of girls’ singles champion for consecutive years. Her opponent started off strong with superb agility. Nonetheless, Truong was able to return a series of corner and close-net shots with her equally-matched tenacity. However, as the set went on, Truong experienced a critical cramp in her right leg which impacted her performance. The set ended with a 21–15 loss.
Head coach Christine Hosoda speaks with junior Zilong Wang and sophomore Adam Lichtmacher. Photo by Christina Johnson
In the second set, the pain from cramping did not ease away, but Truong decided to “fight through.” As the second set proceeded, she made another difficult decision of forfeiting after realizing that she had another match waiting. Truong ended up placing second in girls’ singles with a loss in 16–7.
Next up were the girls’ doubles. The Cardinals encountered their most familiar opponents, which were their own teammates. Competing against teammates did not hinder either side from trying their best. On one side, senior Yingying Yan and sophomore Betty Yang constantly varied their formation. On the opposite side, senior Carolyn Nguyen and sophomore Elaine Huang stuck to their individual position. Both sides demonstrated similar tactics, but Yan and Yang won the sets by 21–15 and 21–19.
They triumphed in all the doubles events taking first place, and won second place in the singles.
More teammates arrived when the boys’ doubles began, with colorful posters displaying collages of their team as they raised them proudly in the air. Junior Zilong Wang and sophomore Adam Lichtmacher dominated the Burton Pumas early on. Throughout the match, Wang and Lichtmacher were able to cover each other by saving shots during the rally and maintaining strong defense after attacks. In the second set, their opponents began to counterattack with unexpected corner shots, but the Cardinals successfully returned all of them. At the end of the match, Lichtmacher and Wang finished their set with a number of jump-smash shots. They won with an outstanding performance, winning 21–7 and 21–4.
Senior Tiffany Truong and junior Alex Owyang receives gold medals in mixed doubles. Photo by Christina Johnson
Teammates’ energetic cheers brought the Cardinals’ spirit to its climax and could be felt throughout the entire gym. Junior Alex Owyang faced off against the same opponent from Wallenberg who had defeated him in one of the Cardinals’ home games. It was another tough match for Owyang. Both players presented their eagerness to win with vigorous smashes and displayed a showcase of advanced techniques, such as the 360 backhand defense and hairpin net shots. Owyang fell behind with a 21–14 in the first set. In the following set, despite Owyang’s expeditious retrieval to the close net shots, his opponent won by two points. The boys’ singles lost, 22–20.
As the co-captain of the badminton team, Truong was very impressed by the spirit and support of the team. “I hope that they do carry this spirit and mentality of being a team player with them everywhere they go,” Truong said.
Junior Alex Owyang smashes the birdie against the Bulldogs. Photo by Christina Johnson
The Cardinals will be competing in the team finals against the Washington Eagles on May 11 at 4 p.m.