The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Badminton team gets off to slow start; inexperience shows in loss to Huskies

As the first singles’ matches came to a close, it was evident that the badminton team was not going to remain undefeated, losing 17-4 to East L.A., Friday.

The team will have a week off to prepare for its next set of South Coast Conference matches, which begin at Pasadena City a week from tomorrow and a home match against Los Angeles City Wednesday.

“We were brought down to earth with a bang,” coach John Britton said. “After beating up on Compton College last week, we (played) a more experienced team (in Pasadena City).”

Experience was lacking among Warrior players during the match, with first-year player Pavithra Wijratne being the lone player on the team with any prior experience.

“I was a junior player back in my country,” Wijratne, who is from Sri Lanka, said.

Wijratne’s experience is only limited to playing the sport in Sri Lanka, but she hopes that her experience will help the team win some matches.

“I don’t have experience playing here, but I’m sure it’s going to be fun,” Wijratne said.

Wijratne was able to showcase her skills, winning both of her singles’ matches, along with one of two doubles’ matches that she played with teammate Samira Yakubu.

“This is my first time playing badminton,” Yakubu said. “I want to improve on my game and hopefully win.”

Yakubu is one of six first-time players for the women’s badminton team, four of whom also play on the women’s soccer team for Britton, and because of that familiarity, Britton believes his team will gel.

“Because we’re all athletes, we’ll get better,” Britton said.

Kari Ikemoto, who is also a two-sport athlete, is optimistic, despite losing all of her matches.

Despite her losses, Ikemoto said she feels a sense of optimism for herself and for the team.

Because badminton is a new sport to most of the members, the process of playing as a team may take longer because each member must learn the nuances of the game.

“Even though I lost, the future’s looking bright,” Ikemoto said. “It’s a new sport, so I’m going to stay very positive.”

Along with Ikemoto, Lisa Harris, the self-proclaimed team mom, is eager to improve on some aspects of her game as well.

“I have a lot of room for improvement, especially on my (service game),” Harris said.

Wijratne and the rest of the badminton team are optimistic for the rest of the season, but they know nothing will come easy for them.

“The team has a positive feel,” Wijratne said.

Even though the Warriors may struggle at times this season because of their inexperience, their determination to get better at a game that is unfamiliar to most of them will keep them competitive in all the matches they play. Players such as Siobhan McOsker will figure to make an impact on this young team.

“Most of us are beginners, so we need to work hard,” Wijratne said. “But we’ll get better.”

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