Despite undergoing numerous improvements in strategy and gameplay, the Palo Alto High School (2-9) Badminton team suffered another loss against Monta Vista High School (12-0) during a home game last Thursday.
Going into its league match against the Matadores, the Vikings did not expect to do well going up against the top team in the league.
The team was able to surprise many of the Monta Vista players by winning a few unexpected games and making the match a lot closer than expected.
Although the Vikings performed better than expected, the team still lost at home on 12-18.
The loss did not affect the team’s place in the league standings as they are still ahead of Wilcox.
There were many bright spots for the Vikings, particularly from doubles partners Zakir Ahmad and Jeffrey Mi.
Ahmad and Mi played a key match against two of the top players from Monta Vista and dominated, winning 2-0.
The two had great synergy throughout the match, communicating effectively and executing their rotations flawlessly.
“I think that Zakir [Ahmad] and I are getting a lot more used to playing with each other,” Mi said. “I think our chemistry is getting a lot better.”
Even though Paly won a few big matches such as Ahmad and Mi’s, it still came up short in many matches, only winning one girls’ match.
Viking sophomore Rainy Yan said that the team was able to make the match in large part because of the hard work and training they had done since the first game.
“Even though we knew we weren’t going to win because they’re such a strong team, everyone did their best and there were a few very close games,” Yan said. “They [Monta Vista] were also the school we played first this year and I believe that everyone did way better this time compared to the first game.”
The match against Monta Vista was the last league match before the league finals and Mi said the performances they had today were positive signs.
“I think we’re hitting our stride at the right time,” Mi said. “We want to make sure that we’re playing at our best during the league finals.”
The Vikings will face all teams from the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League starting at 3 p.m. May 4 in the league finals. If the players are able to place in the top four of their events, they will qualify to compete at the Central Coast Section competition on May 11.