State badminton semifinals features variety of foes

Fresno City College's pair of Soua Kong and Bao Vang are one of the four semifinalist doubles squads who advanced on Day 2 of the CCCAA State Individual Badminton Championships.
Fresno City College's pair of Soua Kong and Bao Vang are one of the four semifinalist doubles squads who advanced on Day 2 of the CCCAA State Individual Badminton Championships.

San Diego--The California Community College Athletic Association State Women's Badminton Individual Championship Tournament exhibited Friday the balance among teams that occured in the 2018 season. The final four championship singles and doubles will be represented by players from four different colleges in each of the two competitions, the first time in the tournament's history the semifinals featured such a variety of opponents.

Leading the pack is the defending state singles and doubles champion--Yukari Naono of Grossmont College. Naono ran into a little trouble in the doubles quarterfinals playing side-by-side with her '18 teammate Michiho Kobayashi as the pair needed three sets to beat Pasadena City's duo of Jessica Lee and Xiaoming Yao, 18-21, 21-8, 21-8. 

In singles, Naono cruised in a pair of sweeps, including a quarterfinals win over Pasadena's Amy Huang, 21-10, 21-13. 

Joining Naono in the singles final four are a couple of wild cards in PCAC #5 seed Wan Jie Chen of Irvine Valley and South Coast #4 Yao of the state team champion Lancers, who saw all three of their top singles seeds eliminated. NorCal No. 1 seed Soua Kong of Fresno City is the other semifinalist. Kong needed three sets to beat Grossmont's Megumi Tonouchi, 21-22, 25-15, 25-16, while IVC's Chen won a war over PCC's and South Coast No. 1 Natalie Ong, 21-11, 17-21, 21-18. Yao had no problems sweeping all three of her opponents to reach the semis. Now either Chen or Yao will make it into the finals.

In doubles, the Fresno pair and North No. 1 seed Kong and Bao Vang endured three sets to down Grossmont's duo of Tonouchi and Ryo Fujimoto, 21-16, 19-21, 21-9 to advance. Pasadena's and the South Coast top combo of Ong-Huang reached the semis for the second straight year in a win over Fresno's Linda Vue-Amy Vang, 21-17, 21-13. The fourth semis duo is NorCal No. 2 seed in De Anza's Negar Hosseini and Madison Ng, who won both of their matches Friday.

Saturday's Championship Semifinals
Singles
Naono (Grossmont) v. Kong (Fresno); Chen (Irvine Valley) v. Yao (Pasadena), 11 a.m.
Doubles
Ong-Huang (Pasadena) v. Hosseini-Ng (De Anza); Naono-Kobayashi (Grossmont) v. Kong-B. Vang (Fresno), 11:30 am

All the Brackets at the following link:

http://www.cccaasports.org/sports/wbadminton/Championships

Robert Lewis, CCCSIA for the CCCAA