At 6-0 in the South Coast Conference, the Pasadena City College women's badminton team is one match away from clinching the program's 10th SCC title in the last 11 years after defeating East Los Angeles, 17-4, on Friday.
The 2-time defending state champion Lancers are 6-2 overall, but were encouraged after a 13-8 non-conference loss to De Anza on April 1. Not as strong as the 2017 and 2018 CCCAA champion teams, the '19 Lancers made a big improvement against the Dons, who broke the team's 49-match regular season win streak and 29-match overall win string in a 19-2 rout back on March 15.
Now, PCC's 45-match conference win streak will continue going into next year as the team prepares for the conference finale doubleheader at East Los Angeles College on Friday, April 12.
The Lancers will end up playing one less conference match after El Camino could not field a team for the scheduled April 3 match, which goes down as a no contest due to CCCAA rules.
Pasadena has gotten stronger in the past few weeks thanks to the play of sophomores Xiaoming Yao and Jessica Lee. Lee posted routs over ELAC's No. 1 and 2 players, 21-5, 21-7 and 21-6, 21-0 while Yao played doubles only and teamed with Rose Huynh to triumphs of 21-16, 21-11 and 21-14, 21-11. In No. 2 doubles, the PCC pair of Sophia Nguyen and Huyen Diep were even better on wins of 21-8, 21-5 and 21-13, 21-7. Nicole Ching, Diep and Emilee Kintanar each scored two singles victories. Chau Lam split her singles matches, but had a nice win over the Huskies' No. 5 player, 21-19, 14-21, 21-18.
Coach Jen Ho was more excited about her team's play in the De Anza match. "We didn't have Lee in the first meeting and then I switched some of our doubles pairings. We actually could have won, but we just couldn't get it done in doubles overall. Sophia played great and is giving us more depth in middle singles."
PCC split the 12 singles matches with Yao, Lee and Nguyen winning each of their two matches. Playing at No. 3, Nguyen went the distance to beat De Anza's No. 3 Heather Ho, 21-18, 17-21, 22-20 and went the full three set route in a win over Cristina Roy, 12-21, 21-15, 21-14. At No. 2, Nguyen teamed with Lee in doubles and it resulted in a 21-12, 21-7 triumph over Ho and Victoria Nguren, 21-12, 21-7. Against De Anza's No. 1 doubles, Lee-Nguyen were outlasted, 21-16, 14-21, 24-22.