After winning five state titles in the last 10 years of intercollegiate badminton, Irvine Valley wasn't involved in this year's team final.
The Lasers, though, made their presence felt once again in individual singles and doubles at the CCCAA State Championships held at Pasadena City College last Saturday.
Thuy Hoang became the fifth IVC player to sweep the singles and doubles state titles and fourth Laser in the past five years to accomplish the feat. Hoang teamed with fellow freshman Rena Phairojmahakij for the Lasers' second straight doubles title and an amazing eighth by the college in the short history of the sport.
In the singles final, Hoang defeated San Diego City's Crisselda Vinluan, 21-10, 21-12.
It was the third time that the undefeated Hoang beat Vinluan this season, having twice recorded victories when their colleges met in Orange Empire Conference play.
In the doubles final, Hoang and Phairojmahakij made quick work of San Francisco's duo of Maggie Choy and Janice Wong, 21-16, 21-10.
"Thuy is very economical with her shots," IVC Coach Martin McGrogan said. "She's an even tempered-player. She's like Bjorn Borg in tennis. She always seems to make one more shot than her opponent. We've had a string of champions and Thuy joined a pretty elite group."
Hoang has now won the biggest titles in both high school and community college badminton. She captured the 2008 CIF Southern Section singles crown at Garden Grove High as a junior.
Hoang joins Anna Kim (De Anza 2000), Cynthia Tran (Orange Coast, 2001), Lili Zhou (IVC, 2002), Eva Lee (IVC, 2006), Shannon Hsu (IVC, 2007), Vimla Phongasavithas (IVC, 2009) as double (singles and doubles) champions at the state event.
Hoang and Phairojmahakij had a tougher time in the doubles semifinal than in the championship match. The IVC duo had to rally from a set down to beat Pasadena's frosh pair of Xu and Nguyen Le. 17-21, 21-10, 21-15.
"That was a harder match than the finals," said Phairojmahakij. "Those were two tall players from Pasadena. Sometimes it's tough because the opponents will pick on me because I am the weaker player than Thuy. She has a way to calm me down and I think I was nervous in the first set. We really click with each other."