New head coach Alistair Casey is leading Poly’s badminton team this season. Coach Casey is a great addition to Poly’s coaching staff, having extensive experience on the San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club team as well as coaching badminton at the 2016 Olympic games.
Reported by Coach Casey
On Tuesday, the Panthers traveled to Nogales High School to face the Nobles in badminton. What started out optimistically as a good start quickly turned into a heated battle controlled by Nogales. For Poly, the opening mixed doubles matches of Ako Ndefo-Haven/Beverly Shen and Julian Lang/Sophia Terrile opened with good wins but Nogales’ strong ladies team quickly turned the tables. All four ladies doubles ties went to Nogales, and three of the four ladies singles ties also went to Nogales. Before they knew it, Poly was down 9-6.
Cue a huge men's singles win for Lang, the #2 singles for Poly against Nogales’ #1 winning 21-16, 21-18. Another big upset came from Poly's #2 men's doubles pair, Beau Gillam/Albert Lu, taking down the Nogales #1 21-18, 22-20. Poly went into the final two mixed doubles matches down 10-9. Again Lang and Terrile at #2 were unstoppable against their counterparts, winning 21-10, 21-15.
The nail-biter of the night was the final match, with Poly and Nogales going into it tied at 10-10. Poly’s #1 mixed doubles team, Jon Wong and Jennifer Lu, took the court to face off against Nogales’ #2 mixed doubles team to decide the tie. They came through with a 21-19, 21-18 victory.
"I couldn't have asked any more from the team today," Coach Casey said. "It was an entire team effort to grab this win against a strong Nogales program, where many of the kids practice all year. The final mixed was nail biting, and I haven't seen someone serve so well under pressure as Jennifer did toward the end of this mixed doubles tie — keeping her cool and delivering perfect low serves into the opponents court, even at 20-18 in the final set."