Badminton: Vikings defeat Gunn in crucial league match

Marvin Zou, Sports Editor

Junior Jonathan Mi and sophomore Ivy Wang prepare to return a serve from the Gunn High School mixed 1 doubles team on April 16 at Palo Alto High School. Wang and Mi won the match, 2-0, despite it being their first time playing together this season. “I had a fun time playing with Jon and winning,” Wang said. Photo: Marvin Zou

Coming into its match against the Gunn High School Titans (1-8) on Tuesday, the Palo Alto High School badminton team (2-7) and the Titans were tied for last in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League standings and in jeopardy of being relegated from the De Anza League to the lower El Camino League. 

The Vikings took one step closer to staying in the upper league on Tuesday, defeating the Titans, 17-13, for the second time this season.

The overall match remained close, with Paly winning a few tight games near the end to come out victorious.

One of the deciding matches was the boys’ varsity 1 doubles match in which the Vikings won 2-1.

After winning the first game and struggling in the second, the duo of senior Zakir Ahmad and junior Jeffrey Mi limited unforced errors and cut-off shots effectively to win the third game and the match.

“We knew that our game was going to be one of the most important games that we needed to win,” Mi said. “There were some points that we gave away from silly mistakes, but I’m glad that we got the win.”

The mixed 1 doubles tandem of sophomore Ivy Wang and junior Jonathan Mi also won a key match for the Vikings, 2-0.

According to Wang, coaches Alex Adame and Jesi Marquez put out a great lineup and the players did a great job of fighting for every point.

“I’m really proud of how all the players played today,” Wang said. “Many of our matches went to three games, and I’m really glad we were able to win them.”

The Vikings are no longer last place in the league, and are hoping to carry this momentum into their next games.

“Even though we haven’t had the best season, I really hope this win will encourage us to work harder, and make the best of the last few games,” Wang said.

According to Mi, the team will still need to win the rest of its league games to clinch a spot in the upper league next year.

“Even though we’re not in last place anymore, we still have to try our best to win the rest of our league games,” Mi said. “We want to carry over the good synergy we had from today’s match.”

In their next matchup, the Vikings will take on the Saratoga High School Falcons (2-6) at 3:45 p.m. Thursday at Saratoga High School.