WASHINGTON 6, HARDING 1
It has been a hit & miss kind of week and twice this week was a miss.Not today. These two teams were involved in the earlier misses. On Monday Harding did not play Highland. On Wednesday Washington did not play Highland. Both time bus issues. This was also a make up game from an earlier non-bus related postponement. Today the match went on without a hitch at Harding. In fact, the Washington bus was early—-they beat me. And the Eagles continued their recent hot streak in what I called their “gauntlet” week. Earlier they took down #1 Johnson and #2 Burnsville. Today they took down the Knights 6-1. The only contest the hosts was able to pocket came at second doubles, and that took three sets. There were three three-setters on the day including the marquee match up at first singles. More on that contest down below. The Eagles #2 singles Rain Htoo held Lillian Lee to single digits in her win. Htoo . Harding could take comfort in the fact they won the close sets 3-0.
These two will meet again next week to conclude their series.
1. Cinderella Nwe, W def Kanlaya Thao 21-17, 19-21, 21-15
2. Rain Htoo, W def Lilian Lee 21-4, 21-9
3. Britney Lao, W def Mai C. Lee 21-13, 18-21, 21-13
4. Josey Lee, W def Gaohli Vang 21-10, 21-13
1. Dun Htoo / Cho Cho Oo, W def Kimberly Tobar / Ana Xiong 21-15, 21-16
2. Shia Mee Lee / Christina Chang, H def Ariel / Paw Eh 16-21, 21-15, 21-19
3. Puja / La Joe, W def Lilian Reiter / Isabelle Gutierrez 21-10, 21-10
BY THE NUMBERS
Matches: Washington 4-0 1.000
Games: Washington 8-2 .800
points: Washington 205-135 .603
Set 1 points: Washington 84-44 .656
Set 2 points: Washington 79-64 .552
Set 3 points: Washington 42-27 .609
decided by 10+: Washington 3-0 1.000
decided by 3-: Harding 2-0 1.000
margin: Washington 7.000
Matches: Washington 2-1 .667
Games: Washington 5-2 .714
points: Washington 139-109 .560
Set 1 points: Washington 63-41 .606
Set 2 points: Washington 57-47 .548
Set 3 points: Harding 21-19 .525
decided by 10+: Washington 2-0 1.000
decided by 3-: Harding 1-0 1.000
margin: Washington 4.286
Cinderella NWE 2, Kanlaya THAO 1
(21-17, 19-21, 21-14)
Cinderella has been belle of the ball (or badminton) this week with wins over #3 Yeng Lai Thao of Johnson, #5 Maddie Blackbourn of Burnsville and now #1 Kanlaya Thao of Harding. Nwe picked up all three of these wins in three sets. This was Thao’s second loss this week with #2 HaNuel Jeong-McDonell of Highland spoiling her unblemished mark. This was a marathon match that lasted 30 minutes. Rallies went deep into the stroke count with 18 the tops. With longer matches fatigue factored in. Cinderella had a strong finishing kick throughout the day outscoring Thao 5-1 down the stretch in the first set, rallying from an 18-11 deficit in the second to close to 20-19, and scoring the last six points of the match again breaking a 15 all tie.
Winners were not as high on the list today. Both players made use of the others errors. When there were winners, it was Thao painting the back corners with her clears for 10 points. Nwe utilized the smash for a dozen points. You can see the effects time had on Thao’s winners. She went from eight and nine in the first two sets to only five in the last. Cinderella maintained her nine second set winners into the third. And mega rallies lasting 15 strokes or more went to Nwe in all four cases. But you could really tell in the short point game. Nwe finished the third set with six straight points. The first three came on winners: she got a six stroke drop and then won two straight smash points of 11 and 17. After that Thao could not handle the serve and the last three points came on two strokes. Of Cinderella’s 21 third set points, seven came on the two stroke. Of Thao’s 30 errors, 13 came on the two stroke. Both players set up their opponents’ errors via the clear. Both favored the soft drive attempt in those cases.
In set one Nwe built a 12-7 only to see Thao even it up with the next five points. Nwe would get a bit ahead; Thao would tie it. Last tie came at 16. A deep missed serve opened the door for the next three points for Nwe. Then she missed set point on a serve wide. She quickly got the final point on a two stroke smash.
Thao had the first run out to 6-1 and kept building the lead out to 13-5 and 16-8. Nwe had a resurgence. A two stroke soft tear drop drive to the right front corner gave her the bird and she rattled off four more points closing an 18-11 deficit to 18-16. She held off Thao on the change of birds and added another point to make it 19-18. Two more side outs, including two marathon points that went to Nwe—an 18 stroke error off a drop to make it 19-18 and then a 16 stroke soft drive to make it 20-19 gave the fans their monies worth. The final point came on a three stroke net off a drop set up.
Nwe had the advantage early up 5-2 after her first run of five. Thao reclaimed the lead at 8-7. Her last lead came at 11-10. Things remained tight indicated by the 15 all tie. But after the 16th point for Nwe Thao tied her shoe. The next point was an 11 stroke smash that went to Cinderella. Then a 17 stroke smash with a couple of defensive gem blocks by Nwe that prevented a change of bird. The last three points were in effect anticlimactic with two strokes going on each.
Odd fact: there was no switch at 11 in the third set. Usually, the first singles match is on what I will call court 2 at Harding, but the main basket was not completely up so they moved first singles to court 1, and first doubles to court 2.
Expect the sixth badminton poll to reflect the new realities.
|Longest side out string||4||3|
|Longest point string||6||5|
|First Serve||1, 2||3|
|Point generated off serve||.525||.434|
|Points after 11||35||24|
|Points after own errors||16||16|
|Winners after own errors||10||6|
|Strokes per point||3.148||3.925|
|Mega Rallies (15+)||4||0|
|Largest Lead by set||4-0-6||1-8-2|
|Set Point %||2/3-.667||½-.500|