By Jasmine Nebre
The sometimes neglected City College badminton team is looking to defend their State Championship in 2011.
Coaching the badminton team for the past four years, Coni Staff and Fred Glosser have compiled 26 consecutive conference match wins dating back to 2008. So far in 2011, the Rams are looking to continue their success with a record of 6-1.
In the past year, the only team on campus with more consecutive victories than badminton was the state champion men’s basketball team.
It is not yet known who their Southern California opponents will be this year, but both coaches have great faith in their team.
“Southern California has an Olympic training site down there, so they have some more advanced players, but they don’t have the same depth that we do,” Glosser said.“Their top players are strong, but our whole team is strong.”
Singles player Cecilia Ren expressed her team’s anticipation of the big upcoming state tournament.
“We’re really excited but at the same time we’re a bit stressed,” Ren said. “The coaches give us a lot of pressure on winning each game, but they’re also really encouraging and supportive. They really motivate us.”
Played with a shuttlecock, also known as a birdie, badminton can either be played with one player on a team in singles matches or two players helping each other in doubles matches. There is a total of 21 points per match and each move requires certain strategic maneuvers.
“You’re not only getting to the shuttlecock and hitting it, but you are also planning where and how deep or wide your hitting is,” Staff said.
More of a defensive sport, as opposed to tennis, Staff said badminton requires tremendous agility, flexibility, strength and speed from each of its athletes.
“I would challenge any City College athlete, male or female, to come and play any of our women on the court to see how they would feel. Football or basketball players, doesn’t matter,” she said.
Sophomore Sina Lippell has been playing since she was five years old in Germany.
Lippell said that in her hometown, badminton is very big and it would be nice if more Americans played because it really is a fun sport.
Not only is it fun and entertaining, it is also physically and mentally challenging.
Glosser said badminton is the kind of sport where if you don’t play it, you don’t appreciate it. City College will offer badminton classes in the fall on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In addition to defending their title at this year’s state championship tournament, the badminton team will also be hosting the event. This will be the first state championship event ever held at City College.
“We’re very happy to host the state tournament. With the new facility here, it’s about time we step up and host it,” Staff said.
The State Championship will be held May 12 in the Wellness Center at 3 p.m. for the team matches and May 13 and 14 for the individual championships.