Fresno City College women’s badminton coach Carol Kadingo figured her team was done in the state final after the top Rams doubles team lost.
But the No. 2 team of Melody Zhou and Liang Wenting came to the rescue – clinching the deciding match with a 12-21, 21-18, 21-16 victory over Eugenia Mendez and Ana Espinoza to give the Rams their first state championship in the sport with a thrilling 11-10 victory in Pasadena on Thursday.
In the second set, the Fresno pair rattled off eight straight points to erase an 11-5 Pasadena lead.
“It’s amazing,” Kadingo said. “I’m thrilled for the ladies. Such a phenomenal experience.”
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All the players hail from local high schools: Leslie Lam (Clovis North), Lucy Lor (Roosevelt), Panhia Vang (Roosevelt), Belinda Vue (Buchanan), Mai Der Vue (Buchanan), Wenting (Clovis East), Julie Xiong (Clovis East) and Zhou (Clovis West).
“We did this from the Fresno and Clovis area,” said Kadingo, whose team finished 10-0. “No international students, no exchange students. We did this with Valley kids. How awesome is this?”
Fresno City 11, Pasadena 10
SINGLES, Round 1
Rebecca Tzou, P, d. Lucy Lor, 21-15, 21-13. Sandra Maw, P, d. Panhia Vang, 21-17, 18-21, 21-14. Eugenia Mendez, P, d. Liang Wenting, 21-16, 21-19. Melody Zhou, F, d. Ana Espinoza, 21-11, 21-10.
Leslie Lam, F, d. Hong Yan Liu, 21-9, 21-12. Belinda Vue, F, d. Jennifer Delgado, 21-10, 21-9.
Score: Fresno City 3, Pasadena City 3
DOUBLES, Round 1
Tzou/Maw, P, d. Zhou-Liang, 21-9, 21-16. Vang-Lor, F, d. Mendez-Espinoza, 21-18, 21-11. Mai Der Vue-B. Vue, F, d. Delgado-Diana Resendiz, 21-9, 21-11.
Score: Fresno City 6, Pasadena City 5
SINGLES, Round 2
Tzou, P, d. Vang, 23-21, 21-16. Maw, P, d. Lor, 14-21, 23-21, 21-11. Mendez, P, def. Zhou, 21-16, 21-12. Liang, F, d. Espinoza, 21-9, 15-21, 21-14. Lam, F, d. Delgado, 21-12, 21-16. B. Vue, F, d. Liu, 21-10, 23-21.
Score: Fresno City 9, Pasadena City 8
DOUBLES, Round 2
Tzou-Maw, P, def. Vang-Lor, 18-21, 21-18, 21-17. Zhou-Wenting, F, d. Mendez-Espinoza, 12-21, 21-18, 21-16
Final Score: Fresno City 11, Pasadena City 10