Prep badminton: Rodriguez’s Balancio captures MEL singles crown

VACAVILLE — Rodriguez High’s Raiza Balancio defeated teammate Mikaela Peralta to highlight a productive Monticello Empire League badminton tournament for the Mustangs, Friday.

Rodriguez and Armijo represented their city well in the Monticello Empire League Tournament, Friday, taking the top four spots in the singles tournament and three in the top-five for the doubles tournament.

The top four finishers in the both singles and doubles move on to play in the Sac-Joaquin Section Tournament at Bear Creek High of Stockton starting on Friday.

Balancio was the top seed in the tournament and Peralta seventh. Teammate Bianca Cortez, the No. 3 seed, ended up fourth. Lei Paeste and Janelle Sandhu finished third in the doubles tournament, with teammates Vanessa Vega and Nicole Vu finishing fourth.

Armijo’s  Serenity Liew finished third in singles, while the Indians’ Ysabelle Balomadres and Angelica Roxas took home a fifth-place finish.

The second-seeded Liew opened the tourney with a 21-6, 21-4 win over Napa’s Vanessa Perez. In the second round, Liew dropped the first game to  Peralta, but came back to win the match 17-21, 21-10, 21-18. Once again down one game to a Rodriguez player, this time Cortez, Liew ended with a 17-21, 21-18, 21-18 victory.

The Mustangs’ Balancio ended up handing Liew her first loss of the tournament as Balancio won 21-14, 21-13. Peralta ended up getting revenge on Liew as she won 22-20, 21-15 to advance to the finals.

Balomadres and Roxas were seeded third and also opened the tournament with two wins as they downed Linnea Carr and Diana Hernandez of Vintage (21-4, 21-11) and Rodriguez’ Vega and Vu (12-21, 28-26, 21-13).

Davis High’s Lindi Li and Manvika Nancy, the eventual champions, handed Balomadres and Roxas their first loss (21-18, 21-17), while Paeste and Sandhu of Rodriguez handed them their second (21-17, 21-15). The Indians pair ended up facing their teammates for fifth place as they defeated Donna Tran and Noni Guevara 21-10, 23-21, who ended up finishing sixth.

Daily Republic staff


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