Muskie badminton

As the Muskie senior badminton team prepares to send its top players to the NorWOSSA final today in Kenora, confidence is riding high on advancing to NWOSSAA.
Grade nine student Simone Desjardins, who plays on the senior Muskie squad due to her experience with the local badminton club, stormed through her singles division at the NorWOSSA East qualifier last week in Atikokan, finishing with a perfect 6-0 record.
Meanwhile, the Muskie senior girls’ doubles team of Jennifer Lawson and Sarah Paterson also sported an unblemished record in Atikokan at 5-0.
They’ll be joined by Ashley Dyson and Ann Phung, who grabbed the third-and-final qualifying spot in the senior girls’ division with a 3-2 record, and the senior boys’ duo of Adrian Bondett and Tyson Storkson, who also took third in their division with a 2-2 mark.
Rob Paterson and Brian Pattison also competed in the senior boys’ doubles event at Atikokan but didn’t crack the top three to advance to Kenora.
“[The results were] what I expected,” said Muskie head coach Manami Alexander, who also is coach of the local badminton club. “Most of them started playing early so they’re getting the good results.”
But the field will be tougher today as the top players in both the east and west divisions clash in Kenora to vie for the two berths in each division at NWOSSAA in Wawa next week.
“We’re definitely confident we can get back to NWOSSAA,” said Lawson, who with fellow 11th-grader Paterson last played there two years ago.
“We’ve played together since we were in Grade 6 and we’ve seen most of the other teams before,” she added.
In related news, the Rainy River Owls senior mixed team of Ken Gess and Marion Reinmound finished third at the NorWOSSA West qualifier in Red Lake last Thursday and will be the lone senior reps from RRHS at Kenora.
Juniors advance
In junior action, the Muskie mixed doubles crew of Jana Kennedy and Bryce Martin, playing together for the first time, needed to beat fellow Muskies Marc Riordon and Jacquie Hart in a best-of-three playoff for the third-and-final qualifying spot to Kenora.
Both had finished second in their respective pools.
Kennedy/Martin had won the first set 15-10, lost the second one 17-15, but fought back to take the last one 15-10.
Muskie junior head coach Brian Church knew the match would be close.
“I just let them go at it,” he said.