Badminton claims their fourth consecutive championship


Lauren Ludwig

Kate McPherson, Senior, returns a serve in the Badminton Championships playing as the number 1 seed. On November 12, Varsity Badminton participated in the Badminton Team State championship, earning their fourth consecutive title.

The badminton team has been unstoppable for the past three years, and 2020 has been no different. After completing their regular season with no losses, they earned a place to compete for state champions for the fourth consecutive year. 

Doubles partners Nikhita Jayaraj and Ashley Rodarte, junior and senior, participated in the Division 1 Doubles Championship and fought against Basha High School in the final round. After three games, 21-11, 19-21, 21-11, Jayaraj and Rodarte won the title of Doubles State Champions for the third year in a row. 

Senior Kate Macpherson competed in the Division 1 Singles Championship, advancing all the way to the finals before losing to Neha Shakir who plays for Hamilton. Macpherson said, “I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to play and to get there but when it’s right there in the palm of your hand, you kinda wish you had won.” She went on to say that Neha, the champion, played very well but that she wished it had gone the other way. 

On Thursday, November 12, badminton competed in the division 1 team championship at Mesquite High School against Sunnyslope. With junior varsity and badminton alumni watching, Mcpherson played as the number 1 seed, with Jayaraj and Rodarte as the 2nd and 3rd seeds respectively. Emma Cross, Adrianna Ramos, and Kaylee Ross played as the 4th, 5th, and 6th seeds. 

After the completion of the singles matches, pumas were up 4-2 but still needed a final win in order to claim their fourth championship. 

Doubles partners Jayaraj and Rodarte took to the courts again as the number 1 seed, with teammates Mcpherson and Ramos playing 2nd. Cross and Jayden Montano also played doubles as the 3 seed. 

Jayaraj and Rodarte took the lead and defeated Sunnyslope’s number 1 doubles team 21-0, 21-9.

After claiming the championship Coach Lerina Johnson said, “I am so fortunate to continually have players that are willing to put in the work and maintain a mindset that we can compete with anyone.” 

She also mentioned that this was Jayaraj and Rodarte’s last year playing together, as Rodarte is graduating this year, and that one of the biggest changes to the team will be finding Jayaraj a new partner. However, Johnson said that she was confident in the “work ethic of the girls that are waiting to replace [the seniors]” and that “each year the competition gets better and each year we seem to step up to the challenge and get it done.” 

Now fourth-time state champions, Badminton is already working to prepare for next season, congratulations pumas!