Girls Badminton Comes Up Short

The girls badminton team had an undefeated regular season but fell to Seward Park in the quarterfinal round to end their playoff run.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cover Image
By Emily Siew

With a 4-0 lead over Maspeth High School, Stuyvesant’s girls’ varsity badminton team’s second doubles, comprised of senior and co-captain Yiqing Hu and sophomore Tracy Chang, swiftly defeated their opponents without dropping a set. This sent Stuyvesant into the quarterfinals of playoffs, where they would face Seward Park Campus, one of their toughest rivals of the season.

The team, after succumbing to a 3-2 loss at the hands of Seward, were eliminated from playoff contention on May 12. This ended their quest for an undefeated season, as they were 9-0 heading into the match (including their one prior playoff game).

The team dominated their competition in part because most teams are brand new, badminton being made a Public School Athletic League (PSAL) official sport just four years ago. “I feel really positive about the season. Both of our losses [against Seward] were quality losses for our teams,” coach Hugh Francis said.

This season, Stuyvesant defeated Seward Park Campus 3-2 in the fourth match of their season. This was the only one-point game Stuyvesant had in the regular season, fueling tension that led to the Seward Park victory in the playoffs.

This led to the rivalry between the two schools and will continue next season. Seward’s badminton team is known for its dedication and intensity both on and off the court. “Seward, the school we lost to, is devoted to the sport, as they even film the games and analyze them afterwards,” Hu said. Stuyvesant will try to match that intensity this coming offseason to exact their revenge next year.

Considering how Seward’s team prepares for its matches against other schools, Stuyvesant was able to make Seward really work for its wins. Although Seward had triumphed in two out of their three matches against Stuyvesant this year, Stuyvesant was able to pull away by a score of 3-2 early on. After the initial victory, Seward changed its strategy in order to win the second doubles games at the next two matches, turning the tables for a 3-2 win for them. “They switched out players for the later games,” Chang said.

Even with the tough loss at the end, this was still an incredibly successful season for the team. “Compared to previous years, we did much more conditioning and even running than we did in the past,” Hu said. The extra effort from the players led to more endurance as the season wore on, putting the team in a better place to succeed.

One revelation for the team has been the play of sophomore Lucy Wang. “[She was] able to become a starter as a third single,” Hu said. That play is crucial if Stuyvesant wants to come back and get revenge on Seward Park next year.

In order to do so, the team needs to work on their execution during games. “We should still improve on serving, especially not making serving errors, hitting in, and many badminton technical skills, such as netting and dropping,” Hu said.

“They were getting caught off balance—that’s something to work on,” coach Francis said. This comes with practice and repetition, so these abilities will hopefully translate into a deeper postseason run next season.

However, a repeat undefeated season will be difficult. Hu, along with three other seniors, will be gone next year. Younger players will have to step up and fill their places in order to keep competing. Hu remains confident in her teammates and their ability to lead the team to a better place in the playoffs next year. “I look forward to the team’s future,” she said.