Preview: Badminton looks to avoid relegation

Marvin Zou, Sports Editor

The boys’ doubles duo of junior Jonathan Mi and senior Zakir Ahmad attempts to win a point against a team from Lynbrook High School on April 11 at Palo Alto High School. The pair went on to lose the match in three games. “We made a lot of unforced errors against Lynbrook, so we’re looking to change that when we play Gunn,” Mi said. Photo: Marvin Zou

With both schools on the verge of relegation, the crosstown rivals of Palo Alto (1-7) and Gunn High School (1-7) will face off in a battle to stay in the upper De Anza League at 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday at Palo Alto High School.

The Vikings are currently tied with Gunn for last in the league and are looking to avoid finishing last with a win against the crosstown rivals. The team that finishes last in the league standings will be relegated to the lower El Camino league, so this match could dictate which team is demoted.

In the first matchup against Gunn this season, the Vikings came out on top, winning their only match of the season, 17-13, despite forfeiting two of their girls’ doubles matches due to limited players.

Junior Jonathan Mi said that the team played its best match of the season against Gunn and that Paly was able to win many close games that decided the match.

“The first time we played Gunn, we really had to have our players step up because of the two matches we were forced to forfeit,” Mi said. “A lot of our players stepped up to the challenge, and that’s why we were able to come out with the win.”

Junior Laura Kim said that the primary focus for the team in its second matchup against Gunn is to limit unforced errors and stay focused during the games.

“Tomorrow’s game is an important game for Paly,” Kim said. “I’m excited to see how Paly does, and hopefully we can bring another win to the season.”

Mi said that this will be one of the most winnable matchups of the season, and that the team can win if it plays to its full potential.

“We really need to win this game in order to avoid being sent down to the lower league,” Mi said. “I want me and my teammates to be able to play in the upper league for many years to come, so we’re going to really have to focus on winning this next match.”