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Badminton qualifies for NorCal after championship

Palo Alto High School badminton’s regular season came to a close in late April with the team finishing with a 5-7 record. Wins against Henry M. Gunn High School and Saratoga High School nearly brought the team to an even record before a season ending loss to Lynbrook High School.

“After the first couple of games, the team fell into its groove with people getting comfortable with their positions,” senior Priya Misner said. “Then, in doubles and mixed, some players were very  versatile and moved from one event to the other depending on the team, and we were able to win games this way.”

Although the team did not compete as strongly as they would have preferred, both varsity doubles teams advanced to the Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs after placing first for girls and second for boys in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) playoffs.

Misner, junior Flavia Stiglich, senior Eric Chiang and sophomore Michael Chau both made it to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) NorCal Championships in the doubles section by performing well at CCS. Misner and Stiglich got fifth, while Chiang and Chau placed second.

The team will lose many seniors this year, making next season a time to rebuild. However, there is plenty of young talent, including Chau, who is one of the team’s most talented players.

“Next season, with a lot of the senior girls leaving, there will be a lot of open spots in the girls section of the team that will need to be filled,” Misner said.

The team will also have to cope with the loss of Chiang, who played doubles with Chau. Varsity number ones for girls and boys are Stiglich and Chau, respectively.

The season is not over for four Paly players. Fortunately, for these players, there is a good chance at least one of the two teams will make it out of CCS. Both of these teams have already qualified for the NorCal regional tournament. Despite what was a tough 2017 season, the future certainly looks extremely bright this team.

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