UC San Diego Badminton Blows Away the Competition
With the 2018 Preseason Tournament, the UC San Diego (UCSD) Badminton Team starts off the new competitive year with very successful results. Hosted at UCSD on Sunday, November 4th, 2018, a total of five universities competed: UC Los Angeles (UCLA), UC Riverside (UCR), UC Irvine (UCI), University of Southern California (USC), and UCSD. Badminton players from each school were pitted against each other in a single-elimination tournament, vying for school pride and glory.
UCSD performed in extraordinary fashion, with several players making it to at least quarterfinals. In men’s singles, junior Lawrence Leung made it all the way to finals, defeating each of his opponents in two straight sets, but eventually losing to Christopher Li (UCR). In women’s singles, three UCSD players made it into quarterfinals, but each losing to their respective opponents. One player in particular, sophomore Leilani Lu, gave her opponent Ya Wei Wang (USC) a struggle, winning first set 21-17, but losing the final two sets 18-21, 18-21. In men’s doubles, strong results were achieved as well. In addition to men’s singles, Lawrence Leung also fought hard with his fellow teammate, sophomore Easton Cullen, losing in quarterfinals to the eventual winners, Justin Lam/Christopher Li (UCR). Similarly, seniors Kyle Ng and Chris Pham played extremely well, making it as far as semifinals, but were forced to retire due to medical reasons. In women’s doubles, teammates were pitted against teammates in a quarterfinal thriller, with sophomore Tiffany Truong and senior Cindy Chan defeating freshmen Carleen Li and Alisa Phung, 21-18, 24-22. Truong/Chan would then face tough opponents in semifinals and finals, defeating Jasmin Tran/Alice Lai (UCLA) 24-22, 15-21, 21-18, and losing to winners Karen Zhu/Iris Wang (UCLA). In mixed doubles, three pairs enjoyed success, with Kyle Ng/Tiffany Truong (UCSD) defeating Jasmine Huang/Easton Cullen (UCSD) 21-16, 21-16, but retiring against Chris Pham/Carleen Li (UCSD) due to medical reasons. Pham/Li would go on, defeating Darren Lo/Jakin Lin (UCLA), 21-15, 18-21, 21-17 in an exhilarating final.
With many players making it past quarterfinals and several finalists, the UCSD badminton team is optimistic about the upcoming 2018-2019 season. Kicking off the New Year will be the 2019 UCI Anteater Collegiate Championships, an event many players are eagerly anticipating.