HCPA Girls’ Badminton Team Posts Undefeated Season
By Dave Bonko
The Hmong College Prep Academy Girls’ Badminton Team recently finished up their undefeated regular season with a 6-0 win over Hiawatha Collegiate Academy. The victory gave the Lady Warriors a perfect 13-0 season record, the first in school history. Earlier in the week, a 5-2 victory over Community of Peace Academy capped off a perfect 6-0 Twin Cities Athletic Conference record.
The team then headed to the Minnesota State High School League State Tournament. HCPA defeated Minneapolis Roosevelt 6-1 in the first round. The Warriors were then defeated 7-0 in second round action by tournament runner-up St. Paul Washington High School.
In individual state tournament play, junior Helena Vang and sophomore Sun Xiong made it to the semifinals, losing to a duo from perennial power St. Paul Harding in a very tight match. Senior Neng Thao won her first two matches; however, went down to defeat against state tournament champion St. Paul Johnson’s number one singles player.
“What a great season,” stated Head Coach Coua Lee. “We were known as the ‘Road Warriors’ because all of our matches were away due to the expansion of HCAP’s campus. Playing every match on the road can be very challenging. Keeping that in mind, the girls did a tremendous job this year.”
Coach Lee cited the contributions of Neng as a key factor to his team’s success.
“Neng is the whole package when it comes to playing as well as being a fan and student of the sport. She has killer smashes and moves gracefully as if she was a Minnesota Sunshine dancer. Neng has shown much love for the team as she uses a lot of her time helping her teammates. She has helped everyone with their serves, smashes and drop shots. I also cannot thank her enough for giving rides to her teammates. A lot of the girls who play don’t have a ride. Neng understands the situation of many of her teammates and has helped them out with an open heart. We’re really going to miss her in 2019.”
Lee is also excited about the prospects of another strong season next year.
“This season we had a lot of young players. A lot of our players were played primarily on the JV team last year. We will have a couple girls returning next season and hopefully recruit many young players.”
Though the state tournament is done, the team will finish off their post-season schedule by participating in a charter school tournament on Friday, May 18. “Last year, we took first place in that tournament,” added Coach Lee. “I’m hoping we place in the top three this year.
2018 Hmong College Prep Academy Girls’ Badminton Schedule
3/22/2018 Minneapolis Roosevelt 4 – 3 W
3/28/2018 Minneapolis North Community H.S. 6 – 1 W
4/12/2018 Math & Science Academy 7 – 0 W
4/17/2018 Community of Peace Academy 4 – 3 W
4/19/2018 Prairie Seeds Academy 5 – 2 W
4/25/2018 Hiawatha Collegiate Academy 7 – 0 W
4/26/2018 Trinity School at River Ridge 5 – 2 W
4/30/2018 Minneapolis Patrick Henry H. S. 4 – 3 W
5/1/2018 Math & Science Academy 6 – 1 W
5/4/2018 Minneapolis Edison 7 – 0 W
5/8/2018 Prairie Seeds Academy 5 – 2 W
5/9/2018 Community of Peace Academy 5 – 2 W
5/10/2018 Hiawatha Collegiate Academy 7 – 0 W
MN State High School League Tournament
Minneapolis Roosevelt 6-1 W
St. Paul Washington 0-7 L
Top: (Left to right) Baby Poe, Eh Paw Hkit, Keoxouwan Khang, Chantany Lee, Helena Vang, Pazong Yang, Neng Thao, Htee Lah Hai, Naw Ne Shiwg, Htay Htay Lwin, Destiny Yang, Amy Thao
Middle: Maylo Vang, Kanong Yang, Hailey Yang, Shylene, Lee, Dej Ntshiaj Vang, Shouana Yang, Isabelle Her, Ia Vang, Amy Vang
Bottom: Pangyia Vang, Anny Moua, Pa Zong Yang, Sun Xiong, Noe Htoo, Summer Thao, Pajda Yang