The LDSS ladies' singles player and West Elgin Wildcats' ladies' doubles team of
Bradshaw and Tucker, place fourth at the WOSSAA senior badminton championships
Thursday, April 19, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
STRATHROY, ON. - Lauren Wohlgemut attained her goal, while Katie Bradshaw and Ashley Tucker, established themselves as one of the top female doubles teams.
Wohlgemut in ladies' singles and Bradshaw and Tucker, in ladies' doubles, finished fourth in their respective events, at the Western Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association (WOSSAA) senior badminton championships, at Strathroy DCI.
Wohlgemut aiming for a top four result at WOSSAA, after winning the TVRA South-East Division title for a fourth consecutive year, finished in fourth place, with a 3-2 record. The Grade 12 student at Lord Dorchester secondary school was fifth in each of the previous three years.
"It feels amazing to end my high school badminton career with that for sure. I'm very happy," Wohlgemut said. "I was really focusing on my cross court smashes. I was really thinking methodically through it and planning how I was going to address it. That gave me more confidence going in.
London Christian's Kate Grasman, who finished second, prevented Wohlgemut from having a shot of advancing to the final.
"She (Grasman) was reading everything I was playing, so she was always ready to hit the next shot. She was strong and kept pushing me to the back and kept me from being offensive."
Up next for Wohlgemut is tennis next month. Before taking her racket to the court outside, Wohlgemut will be cheering on her sister, Katrina, in mixed doubles, at the TVRA South-East junior championships, April 23, in Tillsonburg.
"She's a different player than me," said Wohlgemut, of her younger sibling. "She's very focused and determined, so she never gives up. Going to practice, she's always prepared. Her finesse is very good and her net shots are better than mine were in Grade nine."
Bradshaw and Tucker, both Grade 11 students at West Elgin secondary school, made an impressive debut at the senior level, placing fourth, a year after winning gold at junior WOSSAA (2017).
"I'm so proud of them. They played really great," West Elgin coach Liz Zimmer said. "For their first time at senior, to get to WOSSAA, they played amazingly well. They have strong technique. They could read a team quick and go back and manipulate the play. Their communication on the court is awesome."
The players themselves were disappointed in their loss to London Central, although the scores, 22-20 and 21-18, indicate the Wildcats certainly weren't outplayed.
"It was a rough game. We messed up some shots," said Bradshaw.
Tucker added, "They (Central) really made her (Bradshaw) run back and forth, corner to corner and then they would switch it up to deep and short. They made us work for it."
West Elgin's best match may have been the comeback victory over London Saunders Two. After opening with two match victories, the Wildcats lost to the Saunders One team of Josie Butler-Watson and Chloe Shum, who went on to win WOSSAA.
Fourth WOSSAA for Delgado
Jocelyn Delgado has been carrying the torch for St. Joseph's Rams badminton, competing at her fourth consecutive WOSSAA, the past two years as her school's lone representative.
"It's nice getting the chance to come here, especially from my school," said Delgado, who finished 2-2. "I started slow, but as the day went on I got stronger. The last game was definitely my best game."
Delgado credits coaches Eric Ursic and Andrew Mann for improving her skills, taking the pair on in scrimmage matches at practice.
"They've made me better."
The Rodney resident also just finished her rookie junior season, with the Bluewater Hawks of the Provincial Women's Hockey League.
"The pace is a lot quicker in junior," said Delgado, who had five goals and nine assists in 37 games. "With passing, you have to be ready as soon as you get the puck on your stick to get it off. That was a lot to get used too. I think I improved my skating. I did a lot of training on that. I'm faster now."
Delgado will now make the jump from the court and ice to the soccer pitch at St. Joe's.
Eagles' mixed doubles team fifth
East Elgin Eagles' mixed doubles team of Leah Moore and Cooper Van Vlaanderen finished fifth.
Leaving WOSSAA with a 2-2 records were Central Elgin Titans boys' doubles team of Brady and Landon Johnstone and Eagle Leo Centeno, in men's singles.
East Elgin's women's doubles team of Katie Orlebar and Alyssa Voros and Dorchester's David Henshaw, men's singles, both went 1-2.
London Central, with five top four results, edged London Oakridge, for the team title.
WOSSAA gold medalists: Dollar Luo, London Central, ladies' singles; Harry Zhou, Arva Medway, men's singles; Veronica Silvester and Jeff Zhang, Oakridge, mixed doubles; Ben Kerkhoff and Brandon Sanders, Oakridge, men's doubles; Josie Butler-Watson and Chloe Shum; London Saunders, women's doubles.