Badminton wins fourth consecutive conference title: Vikings look to continue postseason with win in semi-finals against Great Neck South

Eric Fishbin, Sports Editors

After defeating Long Beach in the quarterfinals 5-2 on May 15, the girls badminton team looks to continue its season by defeating Great Neck South in the semi-finals on May 20.

“We have gotten more confident as the season has gone on.  At the start of the season, there were some doubts about how well we would be able to compete against the best teams in the county.  Those doubts are long gone,” said Head Coach Dr. David O’Connor.

As with tennis, badminton has three singles players, and four doubles teams.  For each match, a team may earn one point.  It is best of three sets, and a team needs to win four matches to secure a victory.

Unlike many other sports on Long Island, badminton divisions are based exclusively off of each team’s ability, rather than the size of the school or where it is located in.

Even with the elevated competition of Conference I, the Vikings have earned back to back, regular season co-conference championships, shared with its rival, Calhoun.

This year, the Vikings surpassed Calhoun to take first place alone.  However, it may be that the Vikings and Calhoun face-off in the Conference I championship game on May 22.

In the regular season, the team cruised by in conference play earning a record of 11-1, only losing its last match against Calhoun on May 7.

The team looks to continue on its path to yet another conference championship match.

If the Vikings are able to defeat Great Neck South, the team will face either Calhoun or Jericho in the conference finals.

This year at the Nassau County tournament, five players represented Schreiber.

The doubles team of seniors Avanti Shroff and Rachel Hanford won the doubles title on May 10.  This was the first pair to win the doubles title in the varsity team’s  history.

“This was our second Nassau County doubles championship, and last year we lost in the final round.  Having made it back to the finals this year, we played our hardest because this was our last chance, and we were victorious,” said Shroff.

Also earning all-county honors were seniors Daisy Aguilar, Priyanka Ninan, and captain Liz Kallenberg.  This was Kallenberg’s fourth consecutive year earning this honor.  Seniors Catherine Tasnady and Cassie Lammers also earned all-conference honors in singles.

“Everyone on the team is extremely dedicated and we are just so happy to have achieved as much as we did.  I’m really upset this is my last year, but overall this team has been nothing but great,” said Kallenberg.

In the past four seasons combined, the Vikings have accumulated a record of 52-5, dating back to the 2010-2011 season.  Much of this continued success can be attributed to the leadership of Dr. O’Connor.

“Doc is a fantastic coach and has taught me a lot over the course of my four years.  Also, the girls on the team are great teammates and they will have a successful season next year and the seasons following,” said Kallenberg.

The badminton team has many upperclassmen that have excelled throughout their careers, as well as rising sophomores who look to move up spots next season.

“We are losing great players and it will be hard to stay as good as we were this year.  I also think we have great players now too, so hopefully we can make it to the county finals,” said sophomore Rachel Weitzner.

The departing seniors will miss their time spent playing for Port after winning the conference championship at the end of each season of their high school careers.

“Though it is sad that this is my last year on the team, I am happy to have been a part of it for the last four years.  I wish the very best to the returning and new players in the years to come,” said Shroff.