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Kaysha Forbes' decision to play badminton a winner for VS North

Kaysha Forbes has won all 35 of her regular-season badminton matches the past three years. She spent the two years before that refusing to play the sport.

"She was very wrapped up in her tennis," Valley Stream North coach Tom Schiavo said. "It took two years of recruiting and talking to get her on the team."

Since Forbes decided to put down the tennis ball long enough to smack around the birdie, the senior has been lights out, losing only once -- in the 2013 county tournament.

"My tennis background has prepared me for badminton because they are similar in the match play and techniques," she said, something her coach used to persuade her to join the team.

"She is a blend of power, finesse, experience and brains," Schiavo said. "The skills and techniques acquired from tennis have helped her to be very successful in badminton."

And everywhere else, for that matter.

Forbes, who said she will go to the University of Virginia in September, maintains a 99.0455 weighted GPA, is a member of grade council, a member of a vocal group known as the 7:10 Downbeats, and belongs to the language, science, math and National Honor Societies.

Despite all this, Forbes is glad she joined the badminton group. "It is much more challenging than I anticipated," Forbes said.

Does her winning streak make her anxious?

"Sometimes my record intimidates me," she said. "I become fearful and nervous of losing a game or performing poorly."

Schiavo, who has coached football, wrestling, basketball, tennis, baseball and lacrosse, believes Forbes stands out.

Said Schiavo: "She is as talented of an athlete that I have coached in any sport in my 26- year career."

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