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SportsHigh SchoolBadminton

Aggressive Chelsea Wong and Keva Li of GNN win girls badminton doubles title

The pair conclude the season at 17-0 including the victory in the Nassau doubles final.

Great Neck North’s Chelsea Wong and Keva Li discuss winning the Nassau girls badminton doubles championship at Bellmore JFK on Saturday. Also shown, Allison Ng of Great Neck North takes the match point over Calhoun's Katie Healy to win the Nassau girls badminton singles title. (Credit: Newsday / Melissa Kramer)

Doubles badminton is all about chemistry, and Great Neck North’s Chelsea Wong and Keva Li have it.

“I’m really happy that my best friend is also my doubles partner,” Wong said Saturday after defeating Port Washington’s duo of Lizzy Kaplan and Kayla Hill, 21-15, 21-19, for the Nassau girls badminton doubles championship.

Wong sealed Game 1 with a smash.

“Our mindset was just aggressiveness,” Wong said. “We got to get it over, we have to smash it down hard compared to usual.”

Great Neck North won the final two points, after it was tied at 19 in Game 2.

The pair, who have played three years together, continue their love for the sport, even on the weekends, competing seven to nine hours straight at a local badminton club.

“There’s so many fun people who go there that play that love badminton as much as we do,” Li said.

Wong and Li conclude the season at 12-0 in first doubles and 17-0 after picking up five more wins in Saturday’s tournament.

“It couldn’t have happened to two better girls,” Great Neck North coach John Zak said. “They’re the leaders of our team.”

The semifinals featured a matchup between Kaplan and Hill, who faced their teammates, No. 5 Nicole Calamari and Mia Froccaro for the second consecutive season.

Earlier in the day, No. 1 Allison Ng of Jericho defeated No. 2 Katie Healy of Calhoun, 21-17, 21-10, to win the Nassau Individual title.

Ng found herself down early in the first game, but after taking a 12-11 lead, she never looked back, using a drop shot to increase the lead to six (at 18-12).

“It’s amazing,” Ng said on being county champion.

Healy finished with a 49-4 record in the last three seasons.

Ng wraps up the season at 12-0 in first singles and 17-0 after five wins Saturday.

“She plays this all year round, and that’s a huge help, it really is,” Jericho coach Mark Burkowsky said. “This is her sport. A lot of girls play one sport, two sports, sometimes three sports in a year and they are fantastic athletes, but this is her focus and this is her passion and it comes out on the court.”

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