This past Sunday, November 6, UC San Diego hosted the first badminton tournament of this year. The aptly named Preseason Tournament is a chance for schools in the league to meet the competition for the upcoming year. Many schools from our league, including UCI, UCLA, UCR, and USC, were able to attend with some of their strongest players to start off the year in a particularly competitive single-elimination tournament. Every event of this tournament included intense matches with close scores and fantastic play.
UCLA and UCI both brought very powerful lineups this year, with UCI’s including 2016 Olympian Phillip Chew. These two schools were able to sweep women’s, men’s, and mixed doubles: UCI claiming first in mixed, and UCLA winning the other two events. In both mixed doubles and women’s doubles, UC San Diego faced off against the ultimate winners in semi-finals, and despite a valiant effort were unable to defeat them this time around. With such a powerful group of players this year, we will face plenty of competition in the league.
Outside of doubles, UC San Diego fielded a strong lineup for both women’s and men’s singles. Our singles player Thu Le was able to quickly move through her bracket without dropping a single game until the finals! After a contested finals match, Thu came out as the women’s singles champion with a final scoreline of 19-21, 21-16, 21-12. In men’s singles, our own Chetan Potu played many fierce matches, including a victory over the third seed, USC’s Daniel Chow 21-19, 21-19, and the second seed, UCLA’s Albert Li 23-21, 23-21. After making it all the way to the finals, Chetan played against the first seed, UCLA’s freshman Jordy Supandi. After a hotly contested first game, with Jordy just barely winning 21-18, Chetan was unfortunately overcome in the second with Jordy walking away with the win.
This year’s tournament was very exciting with plenty of highly skilled players in attendance. We look forward to playing against each school as we prepare for some great competition this season starting in January!