DV’s badminton team leaves Dublin High in the dust


Luna Ashebir

Vemula prepares to serve in a doubles match against Dublin High.

Dougherty Valley’s badminton team won 13-4 against Dublin High School on Thursday, April 13.  

At all times throughout the evening, there were six different games being played simultaneously. These games involved singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches among varsity and junior varsity players from both schools. The ultimate win from each game was counted as a point for the respective team. 

Within the first 45 minutes of the competition, the Wildcats had already won 10 out of the 12 games played. In the coming games, while individual matches were neck-to-neck in scoring, DV continued to stay ahead. 

Once each game ended, a new set of players would enter the court to play. One of these games involved a DV doubles team, Atharva Pulijal and Sreekar Vemula. Before the match began, the teams rallied with each other to warm up. Switching between drops, drives, clears and smashes, both teams spent about five minutes gauging each other through the rally. During the game, they would be playing three rounds wherein each round would go up to 21 points. Whoever won two or more of the three rounds would be pronounced the winner. 

During the first round, Pulijal and Vemula began with a strong offense. However, their swift shots were quickly parried by Dublin High players. DV’s players held great synchronicity. 

“[Pulijal] is very good at supporting from the back, and since I’m taller than the average player, I’m very good at supporting from the front,” Vemula explains.

The Wildcats won the first round 21-13. 

However, in the second round, Dublin High countered with an offense of their own. The competition was intense as both teams tried to score. Dublin High won the round 21-18. After this loss, Pulijal and Vemula returned with intense gameplay, leaving Dublin in the dust with a five point lead. Dougherty Valley swept the third round 21-10, consequently winning that specific game. 

The competition ended when the courts were opened for exhibition matches, which allowed  anyone who hadn’t played or wanted to play more games to enjoy sparring with their teammates or competitors. 

With league championships just around the corner, Dougherty’s badminton team plans to ramp up their training.

“We’re going to improve our players’ cardio, so [that] we can try to win by more than 13 [games] in the future, [and instead] maybe win like 16 or 17,” Captain Vignesh Nair said. 

The Wildcats will play against California High School on April 14.