Whoever said time has a funny way of changing things clearly didn’t communicate the message to the University of King’s College Blue Devils badminton team.
Picking up from where they left off before the Covid-19 pandemic started, the Blue Devils took care of business on just about every court possible, winning every team competition and 13 out of a possible 15 matches to claim their fourth consecutive ACAA badminton team banner at the Langille Athletic Centre in Bible Hill, N.S., on Saturday, February 26.
Fiona Purdy won all three of her Women’s Singles matches for UKC, as did the team of Jack Ronahan and Anna Gillies in the Mixed Doubles category. Meanwhile, Aidan Badcock-Parks picked up two points in Men’s Singles, as did the Men’s Doubles duo of Bryce Mason and Sam White, who returned to the court after previously serving as a coach.
The only blemishes in UKC’s otherwise perfect afternoon came against Mount Allison and DAL AC, both in Women’s Doubles.
Mount Allison finished second in the four-team event as they won 10 out of 15 matches and two out of three team events, with the Women’s Doubles pairing of Mintra Taylor and Sophie Geis leading the way after sweeping all three of their matches.
Results were mixed for third-place DAL AC as the tournament hosts went 7-8 in their matches, with their lone team victory coming over Universite Sainte-Anne. The Rams’ Women’s Doubles pairing of Sophie McKegney and Cindy Yu was a bright spot for the host side, as they won two of their three matches.
Finally, even though Université Sainte-Anne didn’t register a win, they had their moments as the Dragons’ Mixed Doubles pairing of Whitney Doucet and Derek d’Entremont played DAL AC’s Colby Wolfe and Sinead Riordon, forcing the second set to 21-19, the closest result to needing a third set as every single match was won in straight sets.
The focus now shifts to the second half of the weekend, where the ACAA will determine its team representatives for the CCAA Badminton National Championships, to be hosted by the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton, with the category winners also forming the ACAA’s All-Conference Team.
In addition to the team banner being handed out after the completion of Saturday’s play, the ACAA also recognized its major award winners for the season, with the UKC Blue Devils nearly sweeping the field. After winning both singles meets before Christmas, Blue Devils aces Bryce Mason and Anna Gillies were named Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year, respectively, with Gillies also picking up Women’s Rookie of the Year honours.
Michael Miller, Mount Allison
Anna Gillies, University of King’s College
Aidan Badcock-Parks, University of King’s College
Bryce Mason, University of King’s College