The underdogs of badminton


Antonio Franco

Karen Garcia Lopez makes a backhand swing during badminton practice at Skyline College on April 5.

There is a strange sound and dance when it comes to the sport of badminton. The pop and subsequent whistle of the shuttlecock flying through the air, all of course continuing with another pop and whistle and finally ending with an eventual thud on the ground. A shout of the score, a curse under their breath, and then back to the serve and alluring song of the game.

The Skyline women’s badminton team played their first match of the season onFriday, March 18, against Fresno City College. It’s also worth mentioning that for a majority of these players, it was also their first game ever, so it’s not surprising that the Skyline team lost 20-1 in this match.

The women’s badminton team has been going through a transitional period of sorts. A year ago, a long standing coach, Jan Fosberg, retired. Now former women’s soccer coach, Kevin Corsiglia, has since taken up that role for the team. Coach Corsiglia has no prior experience with the sport but has stepped up to the plate nevertheless despite the obstacles.

“It’s been a learning process,” Coach Corsiglia said. “If you can communicate well with athletes, then you can get the information out and usually you can see an increase in performance.”

Emily Guban, who is majoring in allied health to get into respiratory care, has been with the team since the transition of coaches. In fact, she was a part of the women’s soccer team before this with Coach Corsiglia and was given a chance to play badminton through that connection.

“It was kind of a rough start, you know? We didn’t really win,” Guban said. “This season I’m hoping to get better and win a few more games than I did last season.”

A lot of the new players on the team are or were also a part of the women’s soccer team. This established that level of connection and comfortability between teammates.

“He (Corsiglia) told us to come play badminton,” Guban said. “We got some of the new girls to join us.”

This includes Hailey Connor, who transferred to Skyline a few months earlier and is currently undecided in her major.

“Team sports are really fun to work with all of your friends,” Connor said. “Our communication is definitely better than it would’ve been if it was like some other person.”

Even though the badminton team is relatively new in terms of experience, they demonstrate a drive for competitiveness that has definitely carried over from soccer. That alone has been enough to keep players on the team and learn how to improve at the sport in general.

The odds are stacked high for this badminton team, but the resilience lies within the connection between teammates as well as their determination to continuously get better.

With a whole team behind you willing to encourage you to be the best that you can be regardless of the situation, this team has surely found a support system for each other. Coach Corsiglia acknowledges the challenges that this team faces but remains hopeful.

Catch the team in action at their next game at Fresno City College on Thursday April 13.

“I am a very competitive person,” Connor said. “We could definitely improve a lot more on deciding who goes forward and who goes back.”

“Little short on experience,” Coach Corsiglia said. “But not short on enthusiasm.”