The Pasadena City College women's badminton team opened the 2017 season by stretching its South Coast Conference winning streak to 22 matches, all under third-year head coach Jen Ho. The Lancers shut out visiting El Camino College-Compton Center, 21-0, Friday at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
PCC reached last year's state championship match (lost to Fresno City College) and has a 26-2 overall record under Coach Ho.
The Lancers are rebuilding after losing 2016 CCCAA singles state champion Rebecca Tzou and the '15 state doubles title team of Tzou and Sandra Maw to graduation. Leading the new Lancers is Maw's younger sister and new No. 1 player Sarah Thaw, who is from Arcadia High.
In the season opener, Thaw gave up only 13 points combined in four set wins during sweeps over Compton's Daisy Valenzuela and Olga Paido. Hong Yan Liu is the only returning player from last year and the letterman and No. 2 Lancer beat Valenzuela, 21-10, 21-9, and Paido, 21-8, 21-10. Newcomers Natalie Ong (No. 3), Chaw Thinzar Mon (No. 4), and JunTing Huang (No. 5) each won their two matches and No. 6 Noemi Diaz, a returning player from two seasons ago, also swept her matches, including a tough one over Jamia Smith, 23-21, 21-15.
In doubles, Ho played Ong and Huang at No. 1 and the pair won both of its matches. Diaz and Janin Herrera also won two at No. 2 doubles while Annie Ly and May Hy were victorious in their No. 3 doubles contest.
"Like her sister before her, Sarah is a very skilled player and our top performer," Ho said. "Hong Yan is much improved after playing at the bottom of our ladder last year. Most of the other players are learning and have a lot of room to improve. We will have to work hard to get to the level we played at the past two seasons."
On Friday, Feb. 24, the Lancers host rival East Los Angeles in a 2 p.m. conference match.