Knights make net gains in Lethbridge
Badminton: Holy Trinity Academy earns pair of provincial podium finishes
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 06:00 am
There’s no better exit than through the front door of the podium at provincials.
Holy Trinity Academy’s Kaitlynn Martyna made her final high school badminton match count, ousting Calgary’s Sandra Nguyen to pick up the provincial bronze medal in the Senior Girls Singles division at the Alberta championships in Lethbridge.
“When I played her in my pool I beat her 21-11 and 21-5 so I was feeling pretty confident,” Martyna said. “I’m not going to lie.”
The Grade 12 student found out giving her opponent happy feet would be the route to victory and a spot on the podium. Martyna would reign supreme in two sets, defeating Nguyen 21-9, 21-12 on Saturday.
“She didn’t like running around, she liked hitting it hard,” Martyna said. “As soon as I got her hard hit back and close to the net I would hit it way back there so she would have to run back and forth.
“Then she kept hitting it to the middle so, of course, I would smash at her.”
The HTA student was something of a smash in pool play.
Martyna was sitting pretty after cruising to a perfect 4-0 mark in round-robin, serving up comfortable victories over Lingfeng Zhu, Nguyen, Tiffany Petkau and Chelsi Harvey.
Calgary’s Ha Lam ended her gold medal pursuit in a competitive semifinal, edging Martyna in two sets (21-12, 21-16).
“She was really short, but she was all over the place and I couldn’t pick her weakness,” Martyna said. “She just kept hitting to my net shots, which are my weakness, and I couldn’t get them back.”
After finishing on the outside of the playoff picture at her previous provincial experience, as a Grade 10 student at the 2012 championships, Martyna didn’t envision finding herself on the podium when the competition was said and done.
Throwing caution to the wind proved to be a winning strategy.
“I just wanted to do my best because I knew I wasn’t going to do well because two years ago I didn’t do well,” Martyna said.
“I thought I may as well try hard and do my best, I wasn’t expecting anything.”
HTA’s other medallists didn’t set themselves up for disappointment either.
The Grade 10 duo of Darek Fogal and Cailyn Cooke entered their first taste of provincial competition without expectations and came home with a bronze medal in Junior Mixed Doubles.
Fogal and Cooke upended Brad Bujold and Abbey Gelderman out of the Northeast region in three sets (21-16, 14-21, 21-15) to claim the bronze in Saturday’s showdown.
“We were pretty nervous at the beginning,” Fogal said.
“And when we started playing we loosened up because we saw were better than the team.”
The Knights pair dusted themselves off after dropping a challenging semifinal to Edmonton’s Tiffany Kung and Boyuan Lui and rebounded nicely in the third-place game.
“We’ve been friends since Grade 8,” Cooke said. “With us, if we get down on ourselves if we make bad points we bring each other back up.
“We were pretty proud we even made it that far.”
The Knights were also represented at provincials by the Senior Boys Doubles team of Sean McMaster and Austin MacEachen, who finished 1-2 in Pool A and didn’t advance out of the group stage.
HTA’s Senior Mixed Doubles team of Kyle Halewich and Abigail Hartman went out at the group stage as well, posting a record of 0-3.