Mountain Pointe badminton coach Kevin Quick admits his team was feeling the jitters the last time it faced No. 1 Horizon.
"We played tough," said Quick of the Pride’s 7-2 loss earlier this year, "but we could have played better."
The second-seeded Pride will get that opportunity after defeating No. 3 Xavier 5-1 in the semifinals of the 5A state team badminton tournament Wednesday at Dobson High School.
Mountain Pointe, the 2003-04 state champ, will take on Horizon at 5:30 p.m. today at Dobson.
Mountain Pointe’s top seeds, Carissa Guthrie and Alexandra Elston, got their team off to a quick start with a straight-set win and No. 4 Casey Lindquist turned in the pivotal win of the match, defeating the Gators’ Zoe Caznar-Lewandowski, 11-8, 1-11, 11-8, to put Mountain Pointe in command.
Mountain Pointe’s No. 4 and 5 singles players, Rudi O’Keefe Zelman and Ashley Dreas, made doubles a moot point by winning their matches to close out Xavier, the defending 5A champ. While the Pride are looking for revenge today, Horizon got a bit of its own by knocking off No. 4 seed Chandler 5-2 at Dobson.
It was the Wolves who knocked the Huskies from the state semifinals one year ago and Horizon coach Jen Miller said her players were thinking of little else.
"This was redemption day for us," Miller said. "We came out of the guns running and just played great."
Horizon’s Bri Chapin got things rolling with an 11-8, 11-0 win over Chandler’s Sasha Wilson and Horizon’s Torrie Frazier, Meg Burghardt and Jen Lehrman also won their singles matches.
Frazier and Burghardt then beat Chandler’s Doreen Zao and Neha Giridharon, 15-8, 15-3, in doubles to advance to the finals.
Miller insisted her team is not overconfident despite its earlier win over the Pride.
"That was then and this is now," she said. "It’s going to be a great match."