Before the 2019 badminton season even commenced with its first practices in February, Bellevue second-year head coach Ben Puariea knew his team would be a force to be reckoned with against their formidable KingCo opponents.
The Wolverines have simply delivered with a bevy of signature triumphs.
Bellevue has compiled an overall record of 7-0 just past the midway point of the regular season. The Wolverines will compete in 12 regular season matches before the end-of-the-season KingCo tournament kicks off in early May.
“My expectations were to be that we are undefeated this season. We’re a little deeper and a little more experienced. The players know my expectations and I know the players’ expectations. Everyone is on the same page,” Puariea said. “Our goal is to be undefeated through the regular season as well as win the KingCo tournament. We won the KingCo tournament last year but weren’t undefeated through the season.”
The Wolverines’ badminton team, which has 41 players on the roster, have a plethora of skilled upperclassmen to go along with a talented freshman and sophomore class. The Wolverines team captains are Melinda Guo, Isabella Chang and Abby Li. Wolverines’ senior Peilin He also is one of the leaders of Wolverines badminton program.
“We’ve got three or four seniors that are really good and we have a bunch of juniors, sophomores and freshmen who are also really good. We’re just kind of firing on all cylinders right now. We are going to be in the mix (KingCo tournament title) for another two or three years,” Puariea said.
Puariea said the sport of badminton is getting more popular in the Eastside region.
“We are not the largest team. Redmond and Eastlake have 80 to 90 players on their teams. Badminton is definitely a sport that is on the rise. It is awesome and exciting to see. The sport is heading in the right direction,” Puariea said.