Warriors lose to Irvine City 18-3 in second matchup of the season

El Camino College’s badminton team pick up their third loss in a row for the season, losing 18-3 against Irvine City College in the El Camino College Gymnasium on April 1.

This marks the Warriors’ second time facing off against the Irvine Lasers this season.

The meet consisted of 17 total matches, 12 singles followed by five doubles matches, with doubles matches except for one worth two points each.

The home team won three singles matches and lost all doubles.

The victories took place early during the six simultaneous singles matches followed by a series of doubles matches.

Japanese international student Marina Mongaki won both of her singles matches while first-year player Karlee Clark won one of hers.

El Camino College Badminton player Marina Mongaki reaches back for a smash shot during a game against Irvine Valley College in the El Camino Gymnasium on Friday, April 1. Mongaki won two singles matches this meet. (Naoki Gima | Union Photo).

“I definitely saw things I need to improve on,” Clark said. “Even if we don’t win, I always want to keep improving, keep doing better.”

Mongaki, whom Warriors coach John Britton calls one of his star players, remains undefeated in conference singles matches.

“I lost today, two doubles,” Mongaki said.

Mongaki attributed her doubles loss at least in part to the fact that she played without her usual doubles partner who was not in attendance for today’s matches.

“It’s a good excuse,” Mongaki said laughing.

During the meet, Britton chatted frequently with opposing coach Martin McGrogan. The two badminton coaches have much in common, both coaching soccer and also hail from the United Kingdom.

El Camino College Badminton player Madison Gilbert follows the birdie to set up a backhand shot during a game against Irvine Valley College in the El Camino Gymnasium on Friday, April 1. Gilbert exercises concentration and execution during her match for the Warriors.  (Naoki Gima | Union Photo)
El Camino College Badminton player Madison Gilbert follows the birdie to set up a backhand shot during a game against Irvine Valley College in the El Camino Gymnasium on Friday, April 1. Gilbert exercises concentration and execution during her match for the Warriors. (Naoki Gima | Union Photo)

Speaking with The Union, McGrogan complimented the home team and revealed that for their first match the Warriors did not have their full roster, similar to today.

“We believe that if El Camino had the full squad available we would have ended at 11-10 and I’m not sure who would have won with the 11,” McGrogan said. “El Camino has some very talented players.”

For their very first match of the season, the Warriors first faced off against Irvine City and lost with a score of 13-8. The Warriors’ first loss was followed by two straight wins against the San Diego Mesa Olympians (14-7) and a perfect score against the East Los Angeles Huskies (21-0).

As of recently, the Warriors lost to the De Anza Mountain Lions earlier in the week on Wednesday, March 30 with a final score of 18-3. Before that loss, the Warriors experienced a much closer loss (11-10) to the Pasadena City College Lancers on March 25.

Going beyond wins and losses, star player Mongaki expressed gratitude for her coach and her team.

El Camino College Badminton players Montila Winyaworapon (left) and Marina Mongaki (right) share a laugh during a game against the Irvine Valley College Lasers in the El Camino Gymnasium at El Camino College in Torrance, CA, on Friday, April 1, 2022. Winyaworapon and Mongaki are still able to have fun, even with a loss score of 18-3.  (Naoki Gima | Union Photo).
El Camino College Badminton players Montila Winyaworapon (left) and Marina Mongaki (right) share a laugh during a game against the Irvine Valley College Lasers in the El Camino Gymnasium at El Camino College in Torrance, CA, on Friday, April 1, 2022. Winyaworapon and Mongaki are still able to have fun, even with a loss score of 18-3. (Naoki Gima | Union Photo).

“For me, it’s hard to make friends at El Camino, and so yes they are my team members but they are also my friends,” Mongaki said.

The El Camino Warriors have three matches left this season before the start of the South Coast Individual Championships. The Warriors will travel to San Diego for a rematch against the Mesa Olympians on Friday, April 8.

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