Story and Photo by Marcus Tolero
The City College of San Francisco Rams Badminton team travels to Fresno City College today for the Coast Conference Finals.The Rams, who finished the regular season with a 3-5 record, will look to challenge some of the conference powerhouses.
“I’m expecting our one through four teams to go the farthest. They should go to at least the second round,” second-year Head Coach Monique Calvello said. “The competition will be tough. I’m hoping that our ladies play fast and catch the tendencies of their opponents.”
It wasn’t long ago that the CCSF team was a perennial threat for the state title, having captured the state title in 2010 and won conference championships from 2009 to 2012. The program, now in its second year of its reboot, will look to return to championship form at this week’s conference finals. Calvello noticed the improvement from last year to this year.
“The caliber of (CCSF’s) play got raised tremendously because we didn’t have to spend so much time on complete green fundamentals. It got to be more competitive and faster,” Calvello said. “Having one year under our belt, and a good supporting (freshmen) cast coming in helped our improvement.”
CCSF will send its whole team to the Conference Championships. The Rams top four players, sophomores Bin Cheng and Rainie Dang and freshmen Michelle Wong and Easter Polar, will look to challenge the defending state champ Fresno City College and conference powerhouse De Anza College.
“Those teams are good. Fresno is the defending champ. De Anza is right below them. It’s exciting for me because they will make us better. They are fast and very strategic,” Calvello said.
This year the Rams had impressive victories against Mission College, whom the Rams beat twice (21-0, 20-1 final scores) and Skyline College (21-0 final score). Despite the impressive wins against conference opponents, Calvello knows that to get back to the top they have to beat the top teams.
“We embrace the challenge. We have to take what we can. If they’re hungry enough for it, I do see some of our players qualifying for the state championship round,” Calvello said
The Coast Conference Championships starts today and concludes tomorrow.