The Pasadena City College women's badminton team punched its ticket to the CCCAA State Championship final with a 12-9 victory over Irvine Valley in the Southern California Regional title match played Wednesday at PCC's Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. It is the Lancers second SoCal championship, the other coming in 2010.
The two-time defending South Coast Conference champion Lancers improved to 12-0 overall in knocking off a tough Irvine Valley team, scoring nine of the 12 singles wins for 75 percent of their team points. IVC, the Pacific Coast Athletic Champion team, dropped its first match at 9-1.
PCC No. 1 player Rebecca Tzou, the state singles runner-up as a freshman, outlasted Irvine's top two seeds, Cora Tanuwidjaja, 21-18, 15-21, 21-12, and Jurate Foes, 21-15, 12-21, 21-18. Playing at No. 3, Sandra Maw swept No. 3 Peihong Jiang, 21-14, 21-13, and needed three sets to beat No. 4 Stella Shao, 19-21, 21-9, 21-6.
At No. 4 singles, Eugenia Mendez scored sweeps over Jiang, 21-14, 21-15, and Shao, 21-17, 21-8. Ana Espinoza, playing in the No.5 spot, downed IVC's Jessey Wang, 18-21, 21-17, 21-14 and lost to Tracy Nie, 15-21, 21-19, 21-15. PCC's bottom ladder player and No. 6 Hong Yan Liu scored wins over Nie, 21-13, 26-24, and Wang, 21-10, 21-15.
In doubles, Tzou-Maw beat Foes-Jiang, 21-9, 21-11 in a big 2-team points match. Mendez-Espinoza scored a 21-9, 21-15 in No. 3 doubles over Bo Ma and Wang, 21-9, 21-15..
"Our ladies worked very hard to beat our toughest opponent all season," said PCC head coach Jennifer Ho. "Five singles matches went to three sets and we won four of them. That was a big factor. We were ahead 5-1 after the first round of singles and that helped our confidence. IVC is very experienced and a formidable opponent. I'm proud of our players performance under pressure."
On May 6, the Lancers will play at the South Coast Conference Individual Tournament to be held at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club. The individuals seeds for the CCCAA State Championships will be determined there. PCC hosts the state tournament May 12-14.
[Photo--Rebecca Tzou goes to her backhand on a point during PCC's win in the SoCal Regional title match Wednesday, image by Richard Quinton.]