By Benicia Paw
Although not knowing what to expect, Benicia knew they would have a challenging match against Dougherty Valley, the East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) champions.
After winning 16-1 in their first two league games, Benicia High’s Badminton team faced a 2-15 loss against Dougherty Valley on Tuesday, March 19th.
Dougherty Valley arrived at Benicia’s gym with a team as large as Benicia’s of about 50 people. Benicia prepared for the match the same way they always prepare- with warm ups followed by a pep talk from their head coach, Tom Stephens, assistant coach Megan Cillo, and team captain Nicole Dittman. After going over their strategies, it proved to not be enough against the highly-ranked Dougherty Valley.
The match began with #1 Girls Singles (Nicole Dittman), #1 Boys Singles (Tristan Kao), #1 Girls Doubles (Ashley Ko and Justine Haarberg), #1 Boys Doubles (Benji Ryujin and Mason Donabidian), and #1 Mixed Doubles (Peyton Pederson and Michael Munakash). Each match was followed by the #2 spot, then #3, etc.
A huge congratulations to number two and number four girl’s singles for taking wins. Number two singles Jordy Villarreal won (21-18, 21-14) and number four singles Sarina Regis won (21-7, 21-8). “I was really nervous because I knew my opponent was going to be good, but I stayed focused and worked for every point” Villarreal told the Paw. After her match, Regis told the Paw “I was nervous before my game because this is my first year in singles but overall I’m proud of the team for pushing themselves until the final point and working hard.”
Although they had just lost their first match of the season, the team kept a positive mindset and enjoyed the challenge. “Whether you win or lose, make sure you always come off the court a better player” head coach Stephens said. We look forward to the rest of the Benicia High Badminton’s season.