March 5, 2013
Eagles Badminton Ends Successful Season at Nationals
(Metro Vancouver) - The Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Badminton team had a successful end of the PACWEST season last month at the 2013 PACWEST Badminton Provincial Championships. With 6 athletes qualifying as members of the PACWEST Wildcard team for the 2013 CCAA Badminton National Championships, the team traveled to Barrie, Ontario to be hosted by Georgian College from February 28th – March 2nd.
In addition to qualifying for the CCAA National Championships, the same six athletes were also named PACWEST 2nd Team All-Stars for their performances this season. Andy Wong (Vancouver), Willis Kwee (Richmond) and Chris Chung (Hong Kong, China) were named to the Men’s 2nd All-Star Team and Alisa Young (Vancouver), Even (Lok Yi) Tong (Surrey) and Paulina (Chien Min) Hsu (Delta) were named to the Women’s 2nd All-Star Team.
In the first round of women’s doubles, the Eagles pairing of Young/Tong found themselves facing off against fellow PACWEST members and rivals, Amy Leung and Charmagne Yeung, of the Douglas College Royals. A difficult first match for the Eagles, Leung/Yeung would take the match in two sets (21-11, 21-12). In Round 2, Young/Tong battled hard against Lathan/Au (NAIT Ooks) from the ACAC Conference taking the match to three sets for the win (22-20, 15-21, 21-15). The Women’s Eagles moved onto Round 3 where they faced off against host Georgian College’s team of Trischler/Tubman, falling to the Grizzlies in two games (11-21, 17-21). In the remaining rounds, Young/Tong split their matches; first losing to Wong/Yip of Humber College (8-21, 9-21) but winning the final round against Comeau/Nelems of King’s University College (ACAC Conference) in two sets (21-19, 21-11). With a record of 2W-3L, Young/Tong moved into the 5th/6th match-up facing Comeau/Nelems again with the same result by winning the match in straight sets (21-9, 21-15) to place 5th in their event.
Eagles Mixed Doubles duo, Chris Chung/Paulina Hsu had a strong first round battling against the PACWEST team of Mark Downton/Ashley Jang (Langara College Falcons). Although closely contested, the Eagles fell in straight sets (15-21, 15-21). In Round 2, Chung/Hsu challenged Chen/Yu of the NAIT Ooks but also could not post a win, losing in straight sets (13-21, 13-21). The Eagles turned things around in the 3rd Round in a closely contested match against host Georgian College’s team of Dayus/Tremblay taking both sets to defeat the Grizzlies with scores of 21-17 and 21-18. Chung/Hsu found their rhythm and continued this trend by defeating Humber College’s Chow/Yan in straight sets (22-20, 21-16) and then Miller/Tetlow of Mount Allison University Mounties (ACAA Conference) in straight sets (21-12, 21-18) to close out the opening rounds. Chung/Hsu’s record of 3W-2L placed them in the semi-finals where they faced Langara’s Downton/Jang once again, but were unable to change the result from their first meeting, losing in straight sets (14-21, 12-21). The loss placed the Eagles in the Bronze Medal final where they took on Ryan Chow/Suzy Yan of Humber College. A hard fought battle that went three sets, the Eagles were unable to defeat the Hawks and took 4th place in their first showing at the CCAA National Championships.
In their second appearance at the National Championships, Eagles Men’s Doubles partners, Willis Kwee and Andy Wong, prepared to be a strong force and improve on their 2012 result when they won the Bronze Medal. Kwee/Wong faced the #1 Ranked team of Nathan Choi and Wei Luo of Douglas College. In the many meetings of these two teams throughout the 2012-13 season, they knew it would be a difficult match were unable to be victorious, losing two straight sets (13-21, 16-21). Kwee/Wong battled back against the NAIT pairing of Chou/Ko with a tough match but coming through on top in three sets with scores of 21-16, 10-21, and 21-14. The next two rounds would test the Eagles with both matches going three sets, all with different results. The first of the epic battles was against host Georgian College’s Brownlee/Neville where Kwee/Wong, despite a marathon first game in favour of the Eagles, lost the match (27-25, 13-21, and 18-21). The 4th Round would prove different for the Eagles while facing Seneca College’s Jung/Tang in three sets. The Eagles took the win 16-21, 21-11, 21-13. The final round pitted Kwee/Wong against Mount Allison’s Freeman/McGuire and notched another win for the Eagles (21-16, 21-19) to place them in the semi-finals against NAIT’s Chou/Ko.
As was the result during the previous rounds, Kwee/Wong defeated the Ooks in straight sets (21-16, 21-12) to place them in the Gold Medal final against rivals Choi/Luo (Douglas College Royals). Although poised and ready, Kwee and Wong were unable to match the Royals’ duo and fell in straight sets (21-11, 21-9). Although disappointing, the Eagles proudly brought home the Silver Medal. Of the final match-up, Kwee stated, “Andy and I knew that the finals against Douglas would not be easy. Nothing in the tournament has been easy on our road to the finals.”
Head Coach, Morgan van Heukelom, stated with delight, “Our athletes did well and they should be very proud of themselves. We as coaches certainly are. Congrats for a job well done [to our athletes]!”. “Last year, our Men’s doubles came home with a bronze medal losing to Alberta. This year, they beat Alberta to win the silver medal. Hopefully in the near future, we will come home with the gold medal!”
The National Championships signaled the end for the 2012-2013 season as well as Kwee’s successful athletics resume. Kwee finished his fifth and final year of athletic eligibility with a CCAA Men’s Doubles Silver Medal (2013) and Bronze Medal (2012), two PACWEST Provincial Men’s Doubles Silver Medals (2012, 2013), and a PACWEST Bronze Medal (2009). Upon reflection of Kwee’s time as an Eagle, he was nostalgic and humble, stating “My most memorable experience competing in PACWEST badminton is creating the bond with my team. But my final year was especially special as I could really connect with Andy [Wong] and [head coach] Morgan [van Heukelom]. I really have a lot to thank them for since starting the road to Nationals in the beginning of the 2012 season. Those two individuals have helped improve my game to a level I thought I could never play.”
February 18, 2013
Six KPU Badminton Athletes Qualify for CCAA Nationals
(Metro Vancouver) - The Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) badminton team finished their 2012-2013 PACWEST campaign this past weekend at the Pinetree Community Centre in Coquitlam, where they competed in the 2013 PACWEST Badminton Championships. Hosted by Langara College, February 16-17, the Eagles came away with a bronze medal in the team competition and three silver medals in the individual competition (men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles). With six of the seven KPU athletes competing in the individual competition(s) qualifying for nationals, it signifies the largest contingent of KPU badminton athletes to qualify for a CCAA National Championship since the program’s inception in 2004.
On Saturday, the 2nd place Eagles entered the team competition with a marginal hold over the Langara Falcons in the standings. With double-points up for grabs, the Eagles were hoping for a favourable outcome that would sustain 2nd place and guarantee a silver medal podium finish. At the completion of four rounds, the points for 2nd place went to the Langara Falcons. The Eagles won two out of four ties, placing third in the tournament and dropping to 3rd place overall, only 16 points behind Langara, for the 2012-2013 season.
The individual competition heated up on Sunday, with the medal rounds and qualification for nationals on the line. Kwee and Wong brought the crowd to their feet in their men’s doubles match, by winning a monster match against the Langara duo of Sherman Chan and Hugh Leung . After losing the first set and winning the second, Kwee and Wong fought back from being down 11-1 in the third and displayed supreme athleticism, patience and skill take the win (16-21, 21-15, 22-20).
Even Tong (Surrey) and Alisa Young (Vancouver) were the first Eagles to capture a silver medal in the women’s doubles, earning their way on to the BC Wildcard team. They won three of their four matches in the pool, defeating Thompson Rivers University’s Banman/Arudini (21-12, 13-21, 21-11), Vancouver Island University’s Bartulabac/Bonar (21-14, 21-6) and Langara’s Tan/Chang (21-7, 21-7).
In the mixed doubles pool, Chris Chung (Hong Kong) and Paulina Hsu (Delta) won three of their four matches to win the silver medal. Although Chung and Hsu dropped their final match in two sets to the Langara Falcons duo of Jang/Downton (7-21, 11-21), it was their tenacious effort against the VIU Mariners when they won the match in three sets (21-14, 20-22, 21-14) which solidified their silver medal.
In men’s doubles, the deciding match for gold came down to the final match between KPU and Douglas Royals, Cho/Wei. Despite a hard-fought effort in their previous match against Langara, Kwee and Wong were unable to continue with the momentum, dropping both sets (18-21, 7-21). They were the third KPU team to win a silver medal, and a spot on the BC Wildcard team.
“All three [KPU] teams had to win a three-gamer to qualify for nationals,” said head coach Morgan van Huekelom. “They had to fight through that pressure, and get a spot on the [Wildcard] team. I’m proud of them.”
The championships were also time to recognize three Eagles seniors who competed in their last PACWEST Badminton Championship. David Dryden (Surrey), Grace Whang (Surrey) and Willis Kwee; all 5th year student-athletes, and who contributed greatly to the Eagles badminton program. Dryden finished his senior year off in fine form, winning his last men’s singles match in the individual competition against Darren Cho from Douglas College (17-21, 21-18, 21-13). Whang won both of her matches in the team competition on Saturday, beating the Langara Falcons with partner Even Tong (21-8, 21-16) and the VIU Mariners in mixed doubles (21-11, 21-16) with partner Willis Kwee.
The six Eagles begin preparations for their trip to the 2013 CCAA National Badminton Championship campaign this week, to compete against Canada’s best, hosted by Georgian College, in Barrie, Ontario. The championships run from February 27-March 2, 2013.
For more information, visit the CCAA website at: www.ccaa.ca
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