UCSD Starts Off With A Strong Performance
The UC San Diego Badminton Team started off with a strong performance in the first league match of the year. With a record number of members, the roster consisted of many talented new players. They played against UCLA and UCI, and they were able to win against UCI by winning 9 out of 15 matches. Although they lost against UCLA 5-10, they were able to improve their result compared to previous years.
Freshman Reno Guo (singles 1) absolutely blew everyone away during an intense match against Jeremy Chen of UCLA, where he won 21-19 19-21 21-19. However, he didn't have enough time to rest for his next game against Kyle Pan of UCI, and he lost 14-21, 22-24. He gave his all in both games and he will be a huge contributor to the team in future league matches. Men's singles 2 and 3 Advit Gupta and Eric Mei had mixed success; Advit managed to win his match against Eric Guo of UCI 21-18 21-19, after losing a close match against Brenden Cheung of UCLA 21-14, 22-24, 17-21. Although Eric lost both his matches, he fought hard and will be an essential part of the team for years to come.
Women's singles 1 sophomore Megha P unfortunately sustained a left knee injury during her first match against Isabelle Rusli of UCLA. She managed to complete the match 17-21 9-21, but was unable to play in any more matches. Since Megha was also playing doubles with sophomore Lynette Loo, they had to forfeit their match against UCLA. For her other matches though, Kaia To substituted for her to play against Mary Zhuang of UCI and won 21-17 21-16. Macy Fu played with Lynette against Xiao Zhang and Sonya Chiang of UCI, but unfortunately lost 15-21 13-21. Women's singles 2 and 3 Catherine Oei and Rachel Chau also played well; Rachel won both her matches 21-11 21-15 and 21-13 21-5, and although Catherine lost her first match 21-13 13-21 17-21 she managed to win her second match 21-7 21-5. The team is hoping for Megha's speedy recovery in order to continue having success in the women's singles discipline.
The men's doubles pairs had a strong showing. Doubles 1 Ethan Lee and Joey Zhang and doubles 2 CJ Cullen and George Gaus both went undefeated in their matches and played extremely well. Both of Ethan and Joey's matches went to the deciding set, but they were able to outlast their opponents and give the team the win, 22-24 21-16 21-16 against UCLA and 21-18, 18-21, 21-10 against UCI. CJ and George were an entirely new pairing and have only been playing for a few weeks, but they were able to defeat their opponents convincingly 21-15 21-16 against UCLA and 21-17 21-18 against UCI. Doubles 3 Justin Wang and Anubhap Taechamahaphan had a rough day, unfortunately losing both of their games. They stated that the conditions of the gym affected their game and they weren't able to play their best. They lost their games 13-21 18-21 and 12-21 17-21, but being both freshman, the team has high expectations for them for the years to come.
Because of Megha's injury, women's doubles 1 did not have the best results. However, women's doubles 2 and 3 played well and each won their match against UCI. Doubles 2 Rachel Chau and Kaia To defeated their opponents 21-15 22-20, and doubles 3 Jessica To and Jasmine Lee defeated their opponents 21-18 21-18. These two victories were crucial to the team's victory against UCI. These four new players have given great contributions to the team's women's doubles discipline and the team hopes that they will continue their amazing performance in the following league matches.
Finally, mixed doubles 2 CJ Cullen and Lynette Loo went undefeated in their matches, winning convincingly, 21-15 21-17 and 21-12 21-14. Mixed doubles 1 Ethan Lee and Catherine Oei and mixed doubles 3 Andrew Li and Macy Fu unfortunately lost both their matches. Ethan and Catherine narrowly lost both matches but the team is confident that they will succeed in future league matches.