Anteaters Edge Out UCSD

    While five teams competed at the first league badminton meet of the season, the UCSD badminton squad only had UC Irvine’s team in its sights.

    Erik Jepsen/Guardian
    Sophomore David Lim lunges for a birdie but fell short in his doubles match, finishing 14-17 and 4-15. The Anteaters took the Tritons with a narrow 8-7 win on Nov. 5.

    In an epic day pitting some of the Southern California Collegiate Badminton League’s premier organizations against each other, UCSD suffered a tough 8-7 loss to to UC Irvine, but posted lopsided wins against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the California Institute of Technology.

    UCSD fought hard against UC Irvine, but fell just short of the more experienced team. UC Irvine’s men showed their experience and strength in the close matches against the Tritons.

    The Triton No. 1 men’s doubles team of senior Josh Barroga and sophomore David Lim faced two Junior National UC Irvine players and lost hard-fought sets of 17-14 and 15-4. UCSD’s No. 2 men’s doubles tandem of junior Jongwoo Dong and senior Victor Liu played an intense three sets, ultimately falling to a strong UC Irvine pair, one of whom is a Junior National player.

    Erik Jepsen/Guardian
    Sophomore Tim Chen and the Tritons pulled together to outsmart Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and California Institute of Technology in almost every match to bounce back with confidence after their tough loss to UC Irvine earlier that day.

    Dong said the Tritons didn’t perform up to their normal capabilities, and blamed some of the problems on intimidation.

    “We were kind of tense,” Dong said. “[UC Irvine’s] whole [men’s] lineup is all ranked in Junior Nationals and a lot of their players train at the national training center.”

    The UCSD women fared well against the Anteaters, keeping the score close and the possibility for victory alive. Senior Jessie Totten won her match in three sets with a decisive 11-1 victory in the final set. The No. 3 women’s doubles team of Tran and freshman Patty Lee won its match in two sets with scores of 15-3 and 15-4. UCSD’s No. 2 mixed doubles of Barroga and senior captain Grace Cheung won in two sets, both with the score of 15-6.

    “I’m sort of disappointed,” junior captain Victor Li said. “I was hoping for the win. We could only do so much. We could have still won the game, but we lost it at the end. UCI has a lot more experience than us.”

    UCSD showed its strength against Caltech, posting impressive scores in its 13-2 win. The Tritons’ No. 2 women’s doubles team of senior Carol Chau and sophomore Jacqueline Vu gave their Caltech counterparts no hope of victory, winning 15-0 in both sets. No. 1 women’s singles junior Deana Tran also dominated, winning 11-1 and 11-2 against her opponent. The No. 1 mixed doubles team Lim and sophomore Samantha Jinadasa pulled out a hard-fought win in three sets.

    The Tritons took care of a weaker Cal Poly San Luis Obispo team, outsmarting and overpowering the team in almost every game, ultimately leading to a 14-1 win.

    “We have a lot of depth and we practice really hard,” Li said.

    Despite their solid play, it was clear that the players were disappointed with the results.

    “We already have one loss so it’s going to be tough to win the division,” Li said. “We just need to practice hard and win the rest of our games.”

    Although the UC Irvine team is probably the toughest the Tritons will face in league play this year, UCLA could give them trouble as well. “UCLA and UCI have been the top schools and have been the toughest for us in the past few years,” Cheung said.

    The first league meet of the season was a chance for new team members to shine, and they did just that.

    Cheung mentioned that all of the new men’s singles players in particular impressed her with their tenacity.

    “They were really working toward the rally, being consistent and adapting to players they had never faced before,” she said. “They didn’t give up.”

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