On Sept. 28 and 29, the McGill women’s badminton team kicked off its season at Currie Gymnasium, hosting the first RSEQ competition of the year. The Martlets’ doubles and singles teams won one matchup and lost four against the five visiting Quebec universities: Université Laval, Université de Montréal (UdeM), Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Université de Sherbrooke, and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR).
Matches ran simultaneously throughout the two-day competition, with six courts set up across the gym to handle all of the action. Every school played each other team once, selecting three doubles pairs and two singles to represent them. The singles and pairs then played one match each. Total scores were decided by the number of matches each team won out of five.
During their games, McGill focused on where they placed the birdie on the court and their general shot quality.
“[We wanted to] drive [our opponents] down the court, so they [would have to] both reach to their left then cross to the other side,” first-year doubles player Linda Zhu said. “They’re both on their left side [of the court], so they can’t reach their right [….] You aim for the corners, and [then] you drive [the birdie] down hard and fast.”
On Friday night, Sept. 28, McGill fell to Laval and UQAM, both by a 5-0 score. They found more success on Saturday, however, with their first victory, taking down UQTR by a score of 3-2. Unfortunately, the win was bookended by two more losses: The Martlets dropped matchups against Sherbrooke and UdeM and finished in fifth place out of six teams with a 1-4 record. Still, second-year Team Captain Julia Tian remained optimistic for the rest of their season.
“I feel like we’re doing pretty well,” Tian said between matches on Sept. 29. “This is our first tournament of the year, so it’s always really tough starting out.”
One Martlet who made her mark on the tournament was Angcy Xiao. After Xiao sat out during Friday’s matchups, Tian put her in for Saturday’s singles games. Xiao had to transfer her support and energy from the bench to the court, and it was clear that she stepped up to the opportunity.
“[Xiao was] able to fill in her role as [the third singles player], and she’s doing a really good job,” Tian said. “I’m proud of her. She came in, she was prepared to play, and [she] was still able to do her best.”
Meanwhile, the McGill men’s badminton team also competed this weekend, Sept. 28-29, at École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS) in Montreal. They went 3-3 and finished fourth out of seven teams.
With the season’s first tournament now concluded, the Martlets will head back into the gym in preparation for their next tournament, hosted by UQTR on Oct. 27 and 28.