Sports

VIU badminton 'right there' with best teams

VIU Mariners badminton player Jordan Bartulabac sends the shuttlecock over the net during the Pacific Western Athletic Association tournament on Sunday at the Vancouver Island University gym. - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
VIU Mariners badminton player Jordan Bartulabac sends the shuttlecock over the net during the Pacific Western Athletic Association tournament on Sunday at the Vancouver Island University gym.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Vancouver Island University’s badminton team rose to the challenge in its home gym.

The VIU Mariners finished in a three-way tie for second place at the Pacific Western Athletic Association tournament on Saturday and Sunday, though they were dropped to fourth place when tie-breakers were factored in.

“We were right there,” said Janice Walker, M’s coach. “We’re close, we’re really close and that’s good. We had some great wins from the new girls, Eunice and Melissa.”

Melissa Liew and Eunice Chan finished second and third, respectively, in singles competition, and teamed up to place second in doubles.

Walker said the women’s doubles final was an exciting one.

“Their defence is stronger than their smashes, so the rallies are really long … I’m going to say that the average number of shots per rally was up around 30 to 40.”

Two tournaments into the PacWest season now, the Mariners’ standout freshmen are playing the sort of badminton that’s helping to excite the whole team.

“It’s great – it’s probably what was missing last year,” Walker said.

Another highlight of the tourney was  Pat Thompson’s third-place finish in men’s singles. Thompson and Zack Yim teamed to take fifth in a highly competitive doubles field.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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