PHS Badminton | Piedmont takes fifth at NCS

Piedmont badminton: Maddie Xiong and the Phmah brothers in the front row.

Piedmont High School’s badminton team tied for fifth place at the North Coast Section championships on May 11 at Washington-Fremont.

The Highlanders matched their placement from last year despite losing several seniors. This year’s team was filled with underclassmen and could be tough next year if everybody comes back, coach Fiona Lai said.

“With all the new players we had this year, we actually got the same result we got last year,” La said. “I wasn’t expecting to place.”

Maddie Xiong finished second in girls singles at NCS, falling in the final to Moreau Catholic’s Sherry Liu, 21-7, 21-7. Xiong made the championship by defeating San Domenico’s Vesta Juodonyte, 21-16, 21-11.

Xiong opened the tournament with a 21-2, 21-8 win over Alma Taylor-Alareon of Pinole Valley. Xiong then downed Harini Arugonda of Kennedy-Fremont, 21-7, 21-2. A week prior to NCS, Xiong won the West Alameda County Conference title.

“She works hard to improve,” La said of the junior Xiong. “She started playing her freshman year and after her freshman year she started playing outside of school and she improved drastically.”

Athena Li also competed in the singles bracket, falling to Drew’s Miles Irwin in her opener, 21-4, 21-5. 

In boys doubles, brothers Justin and Jonny Phmah took fourth place. They opened with a 23-21, 21-7 victory over Crosspoint Academy’s Mark Wang and Leo Sun. The Phmahs then fell to the Hercules tandem of Collin Kuang and Jadon Mercuro, 20-22, 21-18, 21-18.

In the consolation bracket, the Phmahs beat Nick Gravem and Dakshin Pagadala of Petaluma, 21-6, 21-4. They followed that up with a win over Vishnu Kanagala and Patrick Hu of Moreau Catholic, 21-6, 21-4. The brothers then defeated San Domenico’s Kevin Yang and Frank Shi, 21-17, 21-19.

That led to the fourth place match where San Lorenzo’s Logan Hem and Juan Zarco downed Phmah and Phmah, 21-16, 19-21, 21-14.

The brothers Phmah won the WACC championships the week before.

Maddie Tran and Mandy Tang won their opening match in girls doubles, defeating Kennedy-Fremont’s Nguyen Do and Natalie Luong, 21-16, 21-14. University-San Francisco’s Sofia Fung-Lee and Drew Taylor then beat Tran and Tang, 21-7, 21-12.

In the consolation bracket, Tran and Tang defeated Nicole Huynh and Angelica Nalangan of De Anza, 21-8, 21-11. Tran and Tang followed that with a 21-12, 21-19 win over San Lorenzo’s Eisha Totanes and Teresa Vu. San Lorenzo’s Yarily Rodriguez and Daisy Alvarez then downed Tran and Tang, 21-18, 24-22.

Tran and Tang took second place at the WACC championships.

Walden Pan, who finished second at the WACC championships, lost his opening match at NCS in boys singles. Athenian’s Alvin Zhan scored a 21-6, 23-21 victory.

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