Fresno pair, Grossmont's Naono make it to state badminton semis in singles, doubles

Fresno pair, Grossmont's Naono make it to state badminton semis in singles, doubles

(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) --Fresno City College sophomores Panhia Vang and Lucy Lor joined Grossmont's Yukari Naono as a trio that advanced to the semifinals in both singles and doubles at the CCCAA State Women's Badminton Individual Championships on Friday. 

Naono is shaping up to be the frontrunner to win the state title in both singles and in doubles. In singles, Naono blew past De Anza's Elita Murtanu, 21-7, 21-5, and then set down Pasadena City College's Natalie Ong, 21-8, 21-12. Lor battled her way to the semis with wins over East Los Angeles' Jean Buenaflor, 21-8, 21-7, and Grossmont's Rebekah Leslie, 21-19, 21-7. Vang downed PCC's Chaw Thinzar Mon, 21-12, 21-7 and then defeated Grossmont's Tran Pham, 21-13, 21-15.

PCC's Sarah Thaw, fresh off her of school's first team title last night, swept San Diego City's Jennifer Thai, 21-7, 21-8. Thaw then won her match against De Anza's Tiffany Liao, 21-8, 21-17.  Thaw faces Vang and Naono plays Lor in Saturday's semifinals at 12 noon. 

In doubles, FCC's pair of Vang-Lor won maybe the day's most competitive match, a three-set marathon over last year's state doubles champion Buenaflor, from East Los Angeles, and a different partner Quan Zhang, 21-14, 15-21, 21-19.  Grossmont's Naono and Leslie beat PCC's Thaw and Hong Yan Liu, 21-11, 21-15. Pasadena's Ong and Amy Huang swept Irvine Valley's Abigail Oliva and Shirley Song, 21-13, 21-6 and Grossmont's Pham and Nicole Ortin defeated De Anza's Murtanu-Liao, 21-19, 21-15.

In Saturday's semifinals, Ong-Huang plays Pham-Ortin while Naono-Leslie takes on Vang-Lor, last year's state runner-up pair. The championship matches for singles and doubles follow in the later afternoon.