Paly Badminton Season Recap


Ivan Ijzerman and Grace Li




The Paly Badminton team, after losing their strongest competitor, were not able to sustain their league championship title this year. Their performance in the 2023 season was far from what they had hoped for. They finished their season with a record of two wins and 12 losses.

We made the most of what we had, especially with the coaching situation,” Lum said. 

The team was promoted to the higher division within SCVAL, so the competition skyrocketed in difficulty. The difference in El Camino and De Anza league in any sport is a big jump, with the De Anza league being stronger competition.

“We were super excited to play in a higher division, and the opponents were much stronger than those in the lower division,” senior Caleb Wong said.

The team also felt that there was inequity between sports. While their season was starting Paly basketball was still taking up most of the gym space, cutting into their practices. 

“We did not have time at the gym because basketball was taking up gym space, which we felt was unfair,” Lum said. 

Because of this it was hard for them to practice, and with a lot of athletes new to badminton, this meant it was not possible for them to learn the basics of the game quickly. They hope in the future that sports become more equal at Paly, as there is a common theme in favoriting sports throughout the athletics department. 

Despite their poor performance overall, they had a few standout games. The most memorable match was against Monta Vista on their senior night. 

“We had a rocky start with new players but eventually we got better as a team and were able to win on senior night, which brought up our morale and spirit and helped us win our final game of the season,” Lum said. 

They won the game 19-11 with both the girl’s doubles team and the boy’s singles team putting up noteworthy performances. For the boy’s singles, this featured Justin Han, Abhi Deshpande, and Andrew Li; for the girl’s double team, it included the pairs Eva Wang and Lu, Grace He and Lum, and Kelly Tanaka and Madabhushi. 

“Although I didn’t have a great result in my match, it is nice that we were able to get our first win of the season,” Caleb Wong said.

The graduating badminton class consists of Emma Edwards, Brendon Han, Grace He, Elli Lu, Kathleen Lum, Megha Madhabushi, Kieran Mann, Caleb Wong, and Chadwin Wong, many who played on the team for their whole high school career. 

“It was great but also sad to see the seniors on senior night,” Wong said. 

Although not the results the team wanted, they are hopeful that next year will be a strong year for the program. They were able to win the final game of the season which gives them hope that the following years the program will be stronger. With a lot of young talent, the Paly Badminton team will not be counted out in the following seasons. 

Badminton being one of the only co-ed sports here at Paly, makes it unique. The sense of camaraderie and the friendships formed because of the team. The seniors have been reminiscing their time as a part of their team.

The underclassmen and the incoming seniors are hopefully excited for their upcoming season next year.