Badminton finds rhythm after roller coaster start


Will Kriner

Junior Jayden Ma fires back in a singles match against Aragon.

Will Kriner, Senior Reporter

Badminton has tried to put a string of wins together in its first games of the season, however this is much easier said than done. On Feb. 28, the badminton team kicked off their season with a narrow loss against San Mateo High School, losing 16-14. They excelled in the boys’ singles and girls’ doubles, but lost a crucial doubles match to fall behind in the team score.

“I think we enjoyed the first set win a little too quick,” team captain Erika Jiang said of No. 2 girls’ doubles, “[It] led to a second set loss, so if we had just zoned in a little bit more, we could have won.”

A few days later on March 2, the team bounced back with a convincing win against Westmoor High School, boosting their record to 1-1.

But on March 7, the team suffered a crushing defeat, falling to Aragon High School by a score of 23-7. 

Head coach Salvador Banquiles, who now holds a 1-2 record, took the loss with grace. He said he remains confident that the team has potential this season.

“Aragon is really good,” Banquiles said. “We just need to train more.”

The team has been practicing at 6:15 a.m. —  a hefty ask of high school students — but many are committed to the team, and will continue to fight throughout the season.

“What the team needs is not necessarily an aim to win, but an aim to improve,” Jiang said. “I tell them tips about their game plan and their strategy. Not so much the skill of the student, but you really win a game by strategy over skill.”

During the offseason, many players trained at Bintang Badminton, an indoor badminton facility on Rollins Road also led by  Banquiles. Jiang and Banquiles hope that  training during the offseason will manifest in  improvement throughout this season.

“If we just took it a little bit more seriously — and yes, we have fun off the court. But if we just became more focused, that could lead us to more wins,” Jiang said.