After over three weeks of early-morning practices, the MGCI badminton team limbered up for their upcoming matches, the first of which was a home game held on 7 April.
To kick off the badminton season, team coaches Ms. Yoganathan, Ms. Maharaj, and Mr. Aggarwala invited interested students to two separate tryouts, ultimately handpicking 18 players for the team.
Since the end of the March break, the team has trained two mornings a week in preparation for their first match—the coaches were able to squeeze in numerous practices despite the highly-demanded gymnasium slots. Early-morning training, however, still came with sacrifices—team members took a unified stance on the 7:30 am practices; Stephanie Chan said, “They’re too early; I want my sleep,” and Isabel Liu commented, “It makes me have no will to live the night before. Waking up at 5:50 for practice is not fun.”
The MGCI badminton team started off on 7 April by playing against Jarvis CI, one of the four schools in the Tier II section. All players were divided into Group A and Group B, as well as by the following events: girls’ singles, girls’ doubles, boys’ singles, boys’ doubles, and mixed doubles. Each event was played in a best-two-out-of-three system. For each match won out of the two or three played, Group A and Group B earned two or one points respectively (e.g. if in a Group B match MGCI won the first match, Jarvis CI won the second, and MGCI won the third, MGCI would earn two points and Jarvis CI would earn one). Based on the team’s final standing, MGCI may or may not move on to the Regional Championship beginning on 20 April.
The team has been off to a great start; on 7 April after school, the two schools gathered in the gymnasium and played their ten events with five per group. MGCI ultimately earned 24 points and defeated Jarvis CI by 13 points. MGCI coach Ms. Maharaj said, “[Jarvis CI had] great sportsmanship and [the players were] very supportive of each other,” and Luck Xing remarked, “It was cool to play with Jarvis, but they’re hilariously energetic.”
Although MGCI acquired more than double the points of Jarvis, several of the games played were near-losses. “It was so close because we won the first [match] and lost the second; we won the third 22-20,” said Emily Ma after her doubles match. After Andrew Chen’s singles match, he said, “It was really intense, especially the last set where [I won] the last point because my opponent [hit] it out.”
With three Tier II games still to come on the 13, 14, and 19 April, the badminton team is looking to rack up as many wins as possible. “The team worked tirelessly to prepare for our first game, and all that hard work resulted in us winning our first game of the season against Jarvis CI,” said Ms. Yoganathan. “Now we are getting ready to take on the next three games!”