Playing at No. 3 singles, Pasadena City College women's badminton freshman Natalie Ong didn't just win her two matches against East Los Angeles' No. 3 and No. 4 players on Friday. Ong played nearly perfect and incredibly only gave her opponents less points (three) than sets played (four) as PCC routed the Huskies, 20-1, at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
Ong came very close to a very rare double blanking of ELAC's No. 3 Vanessa Long, 21-0, 21-1. That was only after she had blown away No. 4 Chris Li, 21-1, 21-1. In all, Ong outscored her two foes, 84-3.
The Lancers now win their South Coast Conference title outright at 8-0 with one match remaining and improve to 10-0 on the season. PCC is on the verge of completing its third consecutive perfect regular season under third-year head coach Jen Ho (35-2 overall, 34-0 regular season).
Ong carried over her singles play to doubles as she teamed with Amy Huang to play better against ELAC's No. 1 doubles team than PCC's No. 1 duo of Sarah Thaw and Hong Yan Liu. Ong-Huang beat Jean Buenaflor (last year's state doubles champion) and Quan Zhang, 21-9, 21-14 and raced past Long and Li, 21-2, 21-6.
One of the more interesting developments in the win was how Buenaflor's experienced play stretched out the matches for Thaw and Liu. Thaw, the Lancers' No. 1 singles player, defeated Buenaflor, 21-16, 21-16 and also downed Zhang, 21-7, 21-6. Buenaflor took ELAC's only point by outlasting Liu, 21-13, 19-21, 21-12. In doubles, Thaw-Liu had to rally to beat Buenaflor-Zhang, 15-21, 21-8, 21-13. Thaw-Liu gave up just seven points total in the other doubles victory, 21-3, 21-4.
Huang (No. 4), Chaw Thinzar Mon (No. 5), and Annie Ly (No. 6) each swept their respective two singles matches in straight sets over their ELAC opponents. In No. 3 doubles, Janin Herrera and Andrea Awan made the adjustments to defeat Maggie Wang and Katherine Lai, 20-22, 21-8, 21-5.
On Wednesday, April 26, the Lancers finish SCC play with a home match v. El Camino.