Allison Ng is doing quite well for herself.
The Jericho sophomore won her second straight county singles title with a straight set victory over Kayla Wu, a seventh-grader from Great Neck South, at the Nassau girls badminton championships Saturday at Long Beach High School.
Ng, the top seed, closed out the first set with three straight points for a 21-17 win. She led 16-12 in the second set, the largest lead of the match by either player, before Wu, the second seed, cut at the deficit to eventually force a 19-19 tie. That’s when Ng found herself in a position she had anticipated.
After a 1-1 split in matches against Wu in the regular season, Ng figured a tightly contested match likely. She brought a game plan.
“[Wu] is very good at drops in front of the net, and it’s really hard to get to those sometimes because they are so precise,” Ng said. “So I wanted to move her around the court as much as possible and then wait for my chance to smash.”
Ng did just that to make it 20-19. But on match point, it was Wu leading Ng around the court. Scrapping her game plan, Ng deftly defended two powerful Wu smashes before, fittingly, carefully dropping in the winner just over the net and out of reach of Wu.
It’s the fifth singles title for a Jericho player in the 14-year history of varsity badminton in Nassau county. They’ve also won two county team championships and one doubles title.
“Teams/players always expect us [Jericho] to be really good when they come play us, so sometimes it can be a bit nerve racking leading up to a match,” Ng said. “But once the match starts, the pressure doesn’t faze me … I’m just focused on my opponent.”
If Ng continues her pace, she can become the second Jericho player to win three county singles titles. Gia Zhang won three from 2014-16.
It was all Port Washington in the doubles final as third-seeded Joyce Lin and Kayla Hill defeated their teammates, eighth-seeded Julia Brickell and Charlotte Forman in the third set, 22-20. Lin and Hill took the second set 21-13 after falling 21-17 in the first.
Despite posting just a 6-6 record as a team during the regular season, Port Washington coach David O’Connor was confident in the tandems and “knew a run could happen.”
They didn’t disappoint.
“We’re used to being underestimated by now,” Hill said. “But we have a fighting spirt and do well under pressure…So we don’t mind it.”