This past Saturday, April 15, UC San Diego Badminton played its final league matches of the season against University of Southern California (USC) and UC Irvine (UCI). UC San Diego had the pleasure of hosting matches this time around, with teams from UC Irvine, as well as UC Riverside (UCR) coming down to visit and compete. Coming into the final two matches undefeated, UC San Diego hoped to continue the winning streak to finish off the season without a loss. Against USC, UC San Diego’s team played exceptionally well in a victory going 11-4 in matches played. Most of UC San Diego’s winning matches were taken convincingly, and any matches lost were very tight, with the point differentials ranging from 2-4 points. The most notable match against USC was Jesper Pedersen’s Men’s Singles match against USC’s Amogh Lonkar. Jesper played a hard fought match, taking it to the full three sets and even extra points with scores of 21-17, 17-21, and 24-26. Thu Le showed a dominating performance in her Women’s Singles match against USC’s Winnie Lai, winning in two straight sets by keeping her opponent under a double-digit number of points each set. This victory put UC San Diego one win away from finishing the season undefeated.
UC Irvine proved to be an incredibly strong team this year with the addition of Olympian Philip Chew. Unfortunately for UC San Diego, UCI’s team was too strong to overcome, taking a loss of 2-13 in matches. The two wins for UC San Diego came from Women’s Doubles. Despite a last-minute swap of partners due to injuries, Cindy Chan and Ingrid Chai won against UCI’s Shirley Liu and Bandie Ouch in a close three-set match, with the last set ending with a score of 21-18. Brittany Tang and Amanda Lee also won a tight three-set match against USC’s Dakota He and Monica Nguyen, with their last set also ending with a score of 21-18. Despite the huge discrepancy in match wins, UC San Diego’s team played very well with several matches being within a two to three point margin each set. Overall, UC San Diego finishes the season tied for first place with a record of 7-1, winning against UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCR, CSUSB, UC Davis, Cal Poly SLO, and USC, losing only to UC Irvine. Even with the single loss, the team had a phenomenal season with many new players stepping up and playing their first league matches, and many returning players coming back to keep our lineup as strong as it was. The final event of the season will be the Postseason Tournament held at UCLA on May 6, where UC San Diego looks to take over the competition as it has throughout this entire school year.