In a season of firsts, the second time was the charm.
After opening its season with a lopsided loss to Interlake, Woodinville found its stride last Thursday with an 8-3 win over Sammamish. In this inaugural season for badminton at Woodinville, the Falcons claimed their first victory ever.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Woodinville’s Asretha Aroun said. “I think our team is doing pretty good considering that it is the first time that Woodinville has ever done this before.”
The varsity and JV squads comprise forty-three girls overall. First-year coach Darcy Muzzy wanted to build a solid foundation of young players. She recruited not just within the Woodinville student body, but also reached into Leota and Timbercrest junior high schools.
“I was hoping that we would get the numbers, and we did,” Muzzy said. “I sent flyers and announcements to the junior highs to get the word out and generate enthusiasm. We have 16 freshmen and the best player on the team [Asretha Aroun] is a freshman.”
Aroun, who won her match 21-13, 21-7, has extensive history in the sport.
“I play at Seattle Badminton Club and have been playing for five years now,” Aroun said. “I take classes regularly and play in tournaments. So when I heard Woodinville was going to have a team, I was excited.”
Woodinville’s team captain is Karen Hanrahan. The senior won her match 21-11, 21-9.
“I love badminton, it’s one of my favorite sports to play,” Hanrahan said. “But I’ve never actually played on a team or in a club. I’ve mostly just played in the backyard and that kind of thing. When I heard Woodinville was going to have a team, I came here to play for fun.”
Coach Muzzy hustled from court-to-court as she kept tabs on her players and their matches.
“I’m so excited start a new tradition at Woodinville,” Muzzy said. “I’m happy for the women to have so many choices to make. We have some great girls. Karen Hanrahan and Lucy Cherrier are great leaders and have stepped up. Renee Witherspoon is spirited and is kind of our cheerleader on the team. We have a great group here.”
Aroun flashed a smile when asked about her team goals.
“Interlake is the best team in the league,” she said. “So we want to finish in second [place] so we can have a chance to play them again [in the playoffs].”