The main difference for Corona del Mar’s Jerome Poyyak between the quarterfinals and semifinals in the Southern Section boys’ badminton singles championships Saturday was his attitude.
After defeating Sandy Tirtadjaja of Keppel in the quarters, 15-11, 15-9, the third-seeded Poyyak lost to No. 2 Jerry Wong of Rosemead, 15-9, 18-16.
“The reason why I played so well (in the quarterfinals) was because at the Alta Loma tournament, (Tirtadjaja) beat me, so I had a reason to play to win,” said Poyyak, a junior. “Against (Wong), I had beaten him at the Alhambra tournament, so I was playing not to lose.”
Wong jumped to a quick 13-2 lead in the first game before Poyyak, using a variety of smashes and drop shots that moved Wong around he court, rallied to win the next seven points.
“When you get on a streak, you keep going,” Poyyak said.
But Wong won the next two and the set. In the second game, Poyyak rallied from a 12-7 deficit to take the game into a five-point tiebreaker. Poyyak mixed hard smashes with deep drives to Wong’s backhand side to close to 3-2, but Poyyak then couldn’t seem to get a handle at the net, and Wong used a drop shot to win the tiebreaker, 5-3, and the match.
Wong went on to win the boys’ title when the other finalist, Peter Shieh of Etiwanda, retired because of an injury.
Costa Mesa’s Ed Quan lost to Spencer Liang of Alhambra, 15-8, 11-15, 15-8, in the boys’ singles quarterfinals. . . . In the girls’ doubles semifinals, Vo Nguyet and Hoang Nguyet of Bolsa Grande lost to eventual champions Nhi Phung and Annie Tran of Keppel, 15-1, 15-2. Earlier, Nguyet and Nguyet defeated Etiwanda’s Joi Stewart and Kathy McCarchen, 15-6, 9-15, 15-11. . . . In boys’ doubles, Marina’s Jeremy Sandy and Alan Huang defeated Estancia’s Mike Truong and Allan Tran, 15-5, 15-13, in the quarterfinals before falling to Arroyo’s Gorden Chu and Thanh Chan, 15-5, 15-7.