Spring Badminton Preview 2023

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The 2023 badminton season is likely to be highly competitive as usual as our spring badminton preview takes a look at who returns for our five local teams. This preview is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Naperville North is always ready to bring home a State trophy

What better way to start our preview than with our top badminton finisher in 2022, the Naperville North Huskies. The blue and orange followed up a State championship run in 2021 with a third place finish last season. Senior Amanda Ng made the most of her first year playing high school badminton, making it all the way to the State singles championship before finishing as the runner-up. Despite having the best State finish of our local teams, the Huskies have the most varsity roster holes to full this spring. Ng is gone as are the top Huskies doubles team, Rosana Liang and Connie Lu, who were sectional champions last year. State doubles qualifier Bibiane Kan has also graduated. But head coach Heather Schild always has her girls ready to step into the spotlight. Kan’s former partner, Kotryna Petreikyte returns for her junior season. Shannon Xu, one of the most dynamic players in all the State is also back on the court to lead the team in her senior campaign. The All-State player finished in fourth place in singles last year.

The Mustangs look to keep momentum building

Metea Valley has continuously proven to be a top-ten program in the State over the past five seasons. The Mustangs matched their best-ever finish at State in 2022, ending the tournament in 6th place. It will be tough to replace the talent of All-State doubles duo Vivian Kok and Sophia Wang, who finished third in 2021 and 5th in 2022.
Metea head coach Nikki Liska is excited for the 2023 campaign with many State qualifiers returning. Senior Anjana Viswanathan and junior Riya Alwala, who made it as a doubles team, are back, as is junior Sri Battula. Tanmayi Sharat will take on a more prominent role in her senior year as well. It’s a young Mustang squad, but the senior leaders are ready to set up the next generation of black and gold contenders.

Naperville Central has strong mix of returners and newcomers

Naperville Central was a team led by its strong doubles players a season ago. Hanna An and Michelle Hu won the sectional doubles championship and finished in the top 12 at State while Jessica Pei and Simi Kama also qualified as doubles. Hanna An and Jessica Pei are returning this spring as this promising group’s senior leaders. Daniella Aldeguer also returns after being just one win shy of State singles qualification in 2022. Giana Xiao and Megan Moreno are some intriguing newcomers who should help head coach Tamara Burke and add depth to the Redhawk roster.

Waubonsie Valley ready to take a step forward

Waubonsie Valley has not had the most remarkable team success in recent seasons, but there always seems to be at least one standout performer on the roster. Last season was no exception as freshman Carissa Chen burst onto the scene and finished the year as the 6th best singles player in the State. It was a very young roster for the green and gold in 2022 with only two seniors on varsity. In fact, the entire sectional roster is back for 2023 Norah George and Shruthi Vasudevan came close to State qualification in doubles and hope to build on that chemistry this spring. Ghantharini Kanagasabapathi and Sairishika Pula are also back for their senior seasons, as is singles player Risa Mohapatra. New head coach William Carson has a well-stocked cupboard of returning talent that should provide plenty of optimism.

Neuqua Valley remains one of the local State contenders

We wrap up the spring badminton preview with a program that has been a State contender every season for the past eight years, Neuqua Valley. The Wildcats earned yet another sectional title in 2022 and made their mark at the State meet with a fourth-place team finish. It will be tough to replace the now graduated doubles pairing of Bhavi Barnwal and Nayoon Lee, the sectional champions who won four matches at State. But the other State qualifying doubles team for the blue and gold will return with seniors Aarushi Choudhary & Cynthia Zhang. The singles division is young and exciting for coach Nick Benson. Wanhan Sun is back as a junior after qualifying for State last season, along with star sophomore Hannah George, who had a phenomenal freshman campaign capped off by a third place finish at State. Neuqua Valley is once again locked and loaded to bring home another State trophy this May.