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Society men serve up badminton matches in intramural competition

Left: Preston Sprecher and Andrew Eberle face off in a match that ended in a win for Sprecher. Photos: Dave Saunders

Intramural competition served up birdies last weekend with the onset of the brief badminton season. In this lesser-known intramural sport, individuals can still compete in an intense one-on-one style of play. All regular season games were held on Saturday, March 29, with athletes competing up to five times in the same day.

Games are played to 21 points and must be won by two. The first player to win two games wins the match.

One badminton player was senior Andrew Eberle of the Omega Lions. Eberle, who is a veteran badminton player, said playing is good exercise and harder than it looks. For his second match of the day, Eberle faced off against Preston Sprecher, a sophomore in the Kappa Theta Chi Stallions.

Sprecher claimed the first game, winning handily by a score of 21-9. Eberle wasn’t finished yet though, as he mounted a come-from-behind win to take the second game, 21-16, forcing a third game. In the third and final game, Sprecher maintained the lead for the majority of the game and finished 21-15 to win the match.

“We were pretty evenly matched,” Eberle said. “He got out to an early lead in all three sets. He was just too good to allow a comeback in all three sets. It was fun, though.” Eberle commended his opponent on strong good play.

Sprecher said, “It was a good match, but in the end it came down to placement. It’s not about how fast or how strong you are, it’s all about control. If I can control the game and keep you where I want you to be, that’s key.”

Although the last game wasn’t pretty, Sprecher was still able to scratch out the win. “Toward the end, it was getting really sloppy, and it came down to who could get the right hit,” Sprecher said. “Thankfully, I was able to get some of those hits.”

Another match that took place on Saturday was between freshman David Friend and sophomore Ian Clark. While both find common interest in badminton, they also happen to be a part of the same society, the Phi Kappa Pi Rams.

Both players said it’s nice to have good competition between friends, but it’s also nice to know that your competitor is going to show up. “There’s supposed to be three games going on at the moment, but several players haven’t shown up today. Luckily, we are both here and know each other, so we get to play another game,” Friend said.

But once the game got started, both were trying their best to get the upper hand. At the end of the first game, it was Friend who came out on top, 21-17. The second game was also a close one, with the score never separating by more than three points. It was Friend again who claimed the win, 21-19.

“I grew up playing, and I’ve always enjoyed it,” Clark said. He would play badminton at the net set up in his back yard.

Friend voiced similar reasons for playing, as he played in high school and find the sport to be entertaining. “It’s nice to be able to play with a friend as well,” he said.

The playoffs were held Monday, March 31.

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Society men serve up badminton matches in intramural competition