Women's badminton team falls in CCCAA State Championship

Women's badminton team falls in CCCAA State Championship

In one of the most dominating performances in the sport's history, De Anza College swept the first singles and doubles rounds and just like that secured the 2022 CCCAA Women's Badminton state title over Irvine Valley, 11-0, on Thursday afternoon. 

It took De Anza 75 minutes to complete a perfect season at 15-0 in defeating Irvine Valley (8-4) for the fourth time this year.

In the opening singles, De Anza's #1 Vanessa Dinh swept Irvine Valley's #2 Chih Chieh "Jarita" Huang, 21-7, 21-9 while #2 player Madison Moe won by the same score over the Lasers #1 Yan "Lucy" Luo. De Anza's #3-6 ladder players also thoroughly controlled their matches with #3 Malaya Paras-Mangrobang, #4 Heather Lee, #5 Annabelle Law, and #6 Dora Nguyen all won their matches in straight sets.

Leading 6-0 after the first round, the Mountain Lions understood they could win by taking all three first-round doubles matches. Paras-Mangrobang and Moe, De Anza's top duo, swept IVC's #2 Elise Lau and Weichin Hsu, 21-5, 21-10, #2 Dinh-Lee scored a sweep over the Lasers #1 Lou-Huang, 21-14, 21-15, and the clinching point was in #3 doubles with Jenny Nguyen and Phuong Truong scoring De Anza's ninth two-set sweep.

"On the drive in last night, I was talking about how Irvine Valley was playing really well since we last played them," said De Anza head coach Mark Landefeld. "One of my team captains, Vanessa Dinh was sitting close to me and leaned over and said, 'coach, we got this.' That's Vanessa's growth as a leader. She's pushed her teammates. It's really quite impressive how much confidence she developed in them as well."

Dinh played on the 2020 team that had its season cut short early and eventually became a key leader for the team two years later. 

"We believed in our players potential, so to see them realize it like they did today, makes it enormously satisfying. There were a few nerves going in, but because they had mastery over their own game, it worked out quite well for us."  

Landefeld talked about the strategy of scheduling South opponents in non-conference matches.

"We try to travel enough and play teams that we think we could face in a state championship match and go to different venues so that nobody is shocked or surprised when we are at a state final. There's a coach's saying in a lot of sports that games will teach you far more than the coaches will ever do. Get those games in, and that's how they learn." 

De Anza, the Coast Conference champions, played three more matches than any other team in the state this season and the decision to face Irvine Valley in three non-conference matches gave the Mountain Lions all the practice and scouting needed to perfect their play v. the South Coast Conference champion Lasers.

It was the third state title for De Anza (won back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014) and it is the first time that IVC lost a state final after going 6-0 previously in title matches. 

The state tournament continues at Fresno City College with the individual singles and doubles play on Friday and Saturday, May 13-14. 

De Anza 11, Irvine Valley 0

SINGLES--Vanessa Dinh (DAC) d. Chih Cheih Huang (IVC), 21-7, 21-9, Madison Moe (DAC) d. Yan Luo (IVC), 21-7, 21-9, Malaya Paras-Mangrobang (DAC) d. Wei Kei Wong (IVC), 21-12, 21-7, Heather Lee (DAC) d. Elise Lau (IVC), 21-4, 21-11, Annabelle Law (DAC) d. Emily Feng (IVC), 21-7, 21-5, Dora Nguyen (DAC) d. Jingting Li (IVC), 21-9, 21-6. 

DOUBLES--Mangrobang-Moe (DAC) d. Lau-Weichin Hsu (IVC), 21-5, 21-10, Dinh-Lee (DAC) d. Lou-Huang (IVC), 21-14, 21-15, J. Nguyen-Truong (DAC) d. Wong-Li (IVC), 21-16, 21-19.

Release by Robert Lewis, CCCSIA/CCCAA State Badminton SID