OSHAWA, Ont. – The UOIT badminton team started their 2017-18 season on home court with the hosting of the IUCC Ridgeback 2017. Sheng Chen (Richmond Hill, Ont.) and Emilee Carmichael(Stouffville, Ont.) highlighted the day for UOIT with a semifinal appearance in the mixed doubles competition.
IUCC Ridgeback 2017 saw 63 players participating (compared to 37 players last season) with 16 teams in men's doubles, 10 teams in women's doubles and 23 teams in mixed doubles competitions.
"This was a great tournament which allowed our coaching staff to see where we are at as compared to last season," said head coach Wayne King. "We were able to see where we stack up against high level opposition."
Chen and Carmichael were seeded fourth in mixed doubles, marking the first time in Ridgeback history that a badminton pairing had been seeded at an IUCC event. They picked up a pair of 2-1 wins against teams from Scarborough and Humber College before falling 2-0 to the No. 1 seeded pairing from Commander Badminton Club and the University of Toronto.
"It was exciting that our team was so competitive in this match and showed that Chen and Carmichael are now a strong team," said King. "It was a great result against tough competition."
Despite not qualifying for the A-flight of the tournament, the women's doubles team of Emilee Carmichael and Shuyu Zhang (Mississauga, Ont.) rose to the top of UOIT's own rankings on route to winning the B-flight.
In men's doubles, Sheng Chen and Jonas Albaira (Whitby, Ont.) won the B-flight of the tournament while finishing fifth overall in the event.
"The entire eight member women's team was really impressive in each and every match, although they do not have the experience of our men's team members," said King. "Our rookies – Sierra Haller (Loretto, Ont.), Brittney Yiu (Pickering, Ont.) and Ashley Sun (Ottawa, Ont.) played with great promise and will certainly be competitive by the time the OUA finals arrive."
UOIT had a number of freshmen performing on home court, including Zhiyi Chen (Newmarket, Ont.) who fell to the top seeds in the A-flight quarter-finals and Wil Hausenblas who finished ninth in mixed doubles and won the C-flight.
The Ridgebacks will head to George Brown College to play against the Huskies on Sunday, Nov. 5 before participating in the Peterborough Open at Trent University on Nov. 11.