Badminton Out & About: State Champions: Nhasang, Yang & Thao


The 2017 badminton season wrapped up with the second day of the individual tournament at Burnsville. 92 singles players vied for the singles crown, 69 pairs battled for the doubles title. Chusang Nhasang of Bloomington Kennedy won the singles title in her school’s second year of competitive badminton. Nhasang, ranked #2 going into the tournament, capped an undefeated season knocking off #1 Khao Nou Lor of Johnson. Nhasang had to rally for that win and the win in the semis as she lost the first set in each. The Eagle senior ended the 2017 campaign unblemished at 21-0. Last year Nhasang finished fourth in the state. Lor ended the season at 33-1. This was the second straight year Lor finished second. Last year Yer Moua of Central beat Lor in three sets.

Joining Nhasang on the gold medal platform was the #1 seed and first doubles team of team state champion Johnson: Nou Chee Yang and Bao Nhia Thao. They upended the Central first doubles team and #2 seed Wamee Vang and Xiong Vang. Both pairs are familiar with each other. This is their sixth meeting this year with NCY & BNT winning five. For the year the Governor duo was 34-1.


khao nou LOR 2, Ashley NELSON 1
(21-18, 17-21, 21-9)
Today I spent most of the day prepping and observing the A round games held on the feature courts. I didn’t start charting until the semis, and even then I missed out on a couple of points in this match due to informing the next participants on other courts.

With the new set up I was able to chart both semifinals. In the top bracket it was #1 Khao Nou Lor of Johnson bouncing back to knock off #4 Ashley Nelson of Eden Prairie. Lor led in the first set 18-14 when Nelson put together the only run of the set with three straight winners starting with a two stroke smash, her fifth of the match. Her clear attempt stopped the run. Lor took advantage of 12 errors in the set, which helped put her on top with the last three points.

The second set saw more swings than the first set by far. Nelson held a 15-9 lead. Lor scored seven straight to go in front 16-15. Nelson responded with five straight of her own. Lor held off set point once, but Nelson capitalized on a two stroke drop to even the series. Nelson totaled 13 winners with the drop becoming her go to winner with four. Lor ended up with six winners in this set.

Fatigue must have played a role in this set. At the 11 point mark Lor led 11-7. Nelson would only score two more points as Lor closed hard with a 11-2 run. Lor won the winner race in this set 6-3.

Side out 9/13 7/14-.500
3+ Runs 6 6
Longest point string 7 5
Service points 31 20
Overall points 59 48
Points after 11 29 20
ERRORS 22 38
W:E Ratio 0.955 0.684
Margin 3.667
Set Point % 2/2-1.000 ½-.500

chusang NHASANG 2, may GARVEY 1
(21-23, 21-15, 21-16*)
*My charts had 20-16

#2 Chusang Nhasang took a step to her eventual title with a three set comeback win over Central’s May Garvey, the #3 seed. Garvey took the first set in extra points. The Minuteman junior led 20-17 when Nhasang held off three set points with a missed serve opening the run. The last three points in that run were exclamation point smashes. Nhasang returned the favor with a missed serve, and Garvey racked up the next two points with a three stroke clear the clincher.

Nhasang and Garvey were locked in a fierce side out battle to start the second half. If a player scored on serve it would only be once. Nhasang broke the pattern with the first run three of the set, all on Garvey errors, to take a 12-9 lead. That was soon followed by another Nhasang run of three to push out to a 15-11 lead. Garvey was held runless the entire set. Nhasang tacked on one more to stand at the threshold 20-13. Garvey had a two point last gasp before a four stroke clear evened up the match for Nhasang.

The third set had a counting error. And it came early. At 2-1 the score switched to 3-1 for Nhasang and did not change. Again it was a side out war with 11 straight side outs. It was Garvey that scored the first run, but it still put her behind Nhasang 10-9 (again according to the called score). Nhasang responded right away with a three point run of her own. Nhasang was able to squeeze a point her and there off a serve to lead 19-13. Garvey made a last ditch rally with a run of three, all on Nhasang errors to close to 19-16. A miss hit followed by the soft drive fade put Nhasang in the championship match.

Side out 21/36 21/36
3+ Runs 7 4
Longest point string 5 3
Service points 26 19
Overall points 62 54
Points after 11 31 25
ERRORS 32 24
W:E Ratio 1.188 0.917
Margin 2.667
Set Point % 2/5-.400 ¼-.250


chusang NHASANG 2, khao nou LOR 1
(16-21, 21-6, 21-18)

For the second straight match Nhasang had to rally from a first game loss. She tightened up her side out game from only getting 20% in the first set, to a slam the door performance in the second set (83%). The third set came back to earth somewhat at 60%, but enough to clinch the title.

Lor established herself early in the first set with the first run of three that took her out to a 6-4 lead. Nhasang tied it at 9 with her first run of three. Twice Lor came up with 5-1 responses. The first took her out to a 14-10 advantage; the second closed the set with a win in the bank. Lor doubled up on winners in that set 11-5.

A huge nine point run on Nhasang’s second serve gave her a 10-1 lead to start set two. The two stroke game was favoring Nhasang in that situation. It started with a side out smash. She added three more on Lor hitting errors on the second stroke. The only Lor point off serve came at point six.

In the final set of the year Nhasang picked up the first run of four to take a 6-1 lead. It looked like it may be a repeat of set two. Two drops were among the winners in the first six points. Nhasang’s second run of three put her six up at 11-5. The senior Eagle added a run of four to take a commanding 18-9 lead. With a 20-12 advantage and one point away from the title, the dream was put on hold as Lor fought back holding off game point six straight times. Four of those points came on hitting error, the last two on two strokes. Nhasang reached the promised land on a six stroke smash to cap off her undefeated season.

Side out 13/26-.500 10/26-.385
3+ Runs 9 4
Longest point string 9 6
Service points 32 20
Overall points 58 45
Points after 11 27 27
ERRORS 25 33
W:E Ratio 1.000 0.606
Margin 4.333
Set Point % 2/8-.250 1/1-1.000
Time 19:47.21

next up

Total state results for A, B, C & D flights—this will be on another separate posting……I hope some tonight

It might take a few hours (or days) to digest the information.

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