Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

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Paly Badminton Season Recap 2023-2024


Paly badminton’s 2024 season was far from what they hoped for, but they made the most of what they had. The team finished with 3 wins and 8 losses with one of their games getting canceled. Nevertheless, the team improved from last year and has one doubles team qualified for CCS. 

“Overall I think the season was a pretty big success, as this year we placed much higher than last year, last year we were tied for last and we won 2 games total and this year we won 3,” sophomore Gary Yan said. 

After a tight race to avoid relegation, the team remained in the top De Anza division which is the league’s top division.

Throughout the season, the team faced many issues like court availability, player placement, and coaching absences. In badminton, players are ranked on a lineup based on performance and consistency. The games with higher rated players are worth more points than the lower rated players. Because of this it is essential to correctly assemble a lineup. 

“There were some minor roster mishaps which made winning harder,” junior Marcus Ling said. 

The team faced issues with these placements because their head coach was out of town for a part of the season. 

“I feel like our placements were a bit off because the coach who makes our rosters was in Africa,” sophomore Tirian Melean said. 

Having faulty placements can cause some players to face opponents much better than them resulting in more losses. 

Another issue that players felt stumped their growth was their conflict with basketball and volleyball. Towards the beginning of the season, the basketball team made the CCS playoffs, dragging the season into the spring. Sharing the court with the basketball team caused many badminton practices to go as late as 10pm. 

“The court availability was atrocious,” Melean said. 

Having court availability at the beginning of the season is essential because new players are in critical developing stages and veteran players need to get back in the badminton flow.

In the middle of the season, the team was feeling pretty down after losing 4 games in a row, the team was fearing relegation. However, the Vikings were able to pull themselves together and win their next two games to save their season, the second being against Wilcox. 

“My most memorable game was our home game against Wilcox,” Yan said. “It was our second win in a row which really boosted our team morale. Wilcox had beat us in our first meeting, so beating them this time felt really good.” 

The team also saw improvement from a leadership standpoint. Badminton is a sport with a lot of players and a wide spectrum of skill ranges. This makes it vital to have good management and guidance. 

 “Overall I think the coaching was a lot better this year, our captains were a lot more involved and actually engaged in the sport and wanted to make the team better,” Yan said. “We got more funding and food and we began practicing earlier in the year.” 

Sophomore Venkatesh Bhardwaj adds how the coaches were well prepared in their second win against Saratoga. 

 “Our coaches had an excellent game plan, and it worked to perfection,” Bhardwaj said. 

Doubles partners Andrew and Abhi have moved onto the second round of CCS after winning most of their games in the first round. They hope to represent Paly badminton well. 

In conclusion, the team hopes their hard work and commitment pays off as they prepare for the next season.  

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Tyler Cheung, Staff Writer

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