By Matthew Paul Maes
The City College Rams women’s badminton team put in a valiant effort but lost 20-1 against powerhouse Fresno City College Rams.
Competing against a tough Fresno City College team with a 4-0 record was daunting task for an injury plagued Rams badminton team. Despite the spread in the score, Rams Assistant Coach Jesus Hernandez pointed out that, “We played competitively, a lot of the matches went to three rounds, there were a couple of close ones that could have gone either way, but at the end of the day, Fresno is a real good team.”
The Rams women’s badminton team is comprised mostly of freshman players who lack the experience of their competitors but the coaches are hopeful that the team will continue to progress and that by next year they will be able to compete on a state level.
City College does a history of competing at the highest level in badminton. In 2010 they won the state championship and have numerous state runner up banners, not to mention the many Central Coast Conference championships, and winning the State Individual Doubles Championship in 2012.
Badminton is often perceived in America as a backyard leisure sport but the women that compete in it for City College take it wickedly serious. They play in a tight court, facing off either one-on-on or in pairs, and play the best out of three games. With nasty backhands and hard slamming smashes this isn’t your average summertime backyard game. The speed of the shuttle, has been recorded to reach 306 miles per hour making it the fastest moving object in sports.
Coach Tiffany Mariano describes the sport saying, “The sport is very technical and strategic, there is a lot of footwork, you could put anybody out there, the greatest athlete in the world and I can guarantee you that they will still have a very difficult time playing because it is a lot footwork, it’s a lot different than any other sport.”
One interesting thing to note is that there are a couple of top players from the City College Rams women basketball team, Vivian Woo and Errayanna Hatfield who are paired as a double team. When asked why they decided to be on the team Hatfield said, “We thought it would be really fun to try something new and we heard that badminton helps a lot with footwork and can help us when we start basketball again.”
The Ram’s top player Freshman Tinnie Situ came to the contest with a confident look but also arrived on the court with her right ankle wrapped in medical gauze. After her last match Situ was still smiling even though she appeared to slightly grimace as she walked. “It’s feeling sore,” she said when about her ankle. “I played a lot better than I thought I would. I thought that I would play full court but I was actually moving more than I thought.”
During her singles and double matches with teammate freshman Hallie Meneses, Situ’s athleticism was on full display. Using the full length of her body, Situ’s far reaching efforts were a marvel to watch. When asked about her style of play, Situ replied, “I think that my smashes are okay but I think that my cross drops are my personal best. A cross drop by the way, is a sneaky little trick when a player plops the shuttle just barely over the net.
After the match Coach Tiffany Mariano said of her player, “I think that she did great. She worked on a lot things that she needed to improve on with a bum ankle I give it to her that she came out there and she competed. The girl has got a lot of heart.”
The City College Rams Women’s badminton players have a lot of heart and a whole lot more. With a record of 1-2, their next match at home will be April 16 against De Anza.