DEKALB - The DeKalb girls badminton team got started on the right foot Thursday, taking a 5-0 sweep in doubles against the McHenry Warriors before beating them 14-1 in singles.
For McHenry (2-4), this was a measuring stick to see what the Warriors can improve upon as a program. Amber Mecure, a junior in her second year with varsity, lost an early lead to DeKalb's Alyssa Wagner on Thursday.
“I usually take losses as a learning experience, so I know what I can improve upon,” Mecure said. “I need to work on my footwork and getting back to the middle of the court to play the next hit.”
McHenry coach Christine Santosdiaz shared some of Mecure’s sentiments.
“I think that a lot of our girls get themselves into a good position, but can’t quite finish mentally,” Santosdiaz said. “When we get into a match that is 19-19 in the third game, it is usually about who wants it more. My girls want it, but we need to work on fundamentals both physically and mentally. Footwork is key in those situations.”
DeKalb coach Duane Cowley was very pleased with his team’s performance.
“I am thrilled,” Cowley said. “I only asked them for 11. Alyssa [Wagner] said we’d get 12. We had a good week of practice and we are in good spirits after today. This is how we wanted to feel going into our tournament this weekend.”
Leading the way for the Barbs (2-3 overall) was Wagner, who took her match 2-0 even after falling behind 15-13 to Mecure. Even with a nagging injury to her shoulder, Wagner was very aggressive in both games.
“When I see an opportunity, I go for a smash,” Wagner said. “It is fun for me to play aggressively and play with power and authority.”
DeKalb and McHenry both will be playing in York High School’s tournament in Elmhurst on Saturday.