The DLSU badminton teams ended Season 80 with mixed results, with the Green Shuttlers falling to the ADMU Blue Eagles in a playoff for a semifinal spot and settling for fifth, while the Lady Shuttlers were able to bag the championship after eight long years, defeating the Lady Maroons in a best-of-three series.
Despite giving it their all this season, the Green Shuttlers were not able to make a comeback nor were they able to place higher than their ranking in Season 79.
The team managed to earn victories in their matches against UST, Adamson, and UE with scorelines of 3-2, 5-0, and 5-0, respectively. Although they produced great scores against these teams, they were no match for the Blue Eagles, who won against the Green-and-White in a knockout match, 3-2, for a spot in the Final Four.
The Blue Eagles were able to place third this season while the Fighting Maroons placed second. The NU Bulldogs were crowned champions again for a fourth consecutive year, after sweeping the season.
Bidding goodbye to the eight-year drought
Before the season started, team captain Lin Javier shared that they lacked players this season, compared to the previous years, but that this would not stop them from pushing themselves to the limit. Despite being short on players and having no rookies this year, the Lady Shuttlers were able to inch their way to the top and end Season 80 on top of the UAAP.
On their first week of the season, the Lady Shuttlers were able to sweep the Soaring Falcons but failed to keep up with the Lady Maroons, suffering their first loss of the season. Despite holding a 1-1 win-loss record in the first week, they were able to dominate UST, UE, NU, and their long time rival ADMU during the elimination round to accumulate a twice-to-beat advantage in their semifinals match-up against Ateneo.
In an intense two-day battle, the Lady Shuttlers were able to prove themselves worthy of the championship title after getting back at the Lady Eagles, 3-2, after losing on the first day, which booked themselves a ticket to the finals round where they would face UP.
The Lady Shuttlers then faced UP in a best-of-three match-up in the finals. On the first day, the Green-and-White was able to hand UP its first loss of the season, with Iyah Sevilla capping off the day by defeating Jessie Francisco in a two-game match. However, the Lady Maroons were able to reciprocate by winning against La Salle on day number two, with a score of 3-1, which forced a do-or-die game three for the championship. Their matches intensified on that day, with both teams answering back by equalizing the scores. With only one game left to seal the fate of both UP and DLSU, it was La Salle who prevailed when Nicole Albo shut down Ann Maranon in two quick games to give the win to DLSU.
“Sobrang dami ng pinagdaanan namin this season. I told them, as long as pinaghirapan kasi wala naman nakukuha sa madali,” said head coach Owen Lopez after the championship. (We went through a lot this season. I told them that at least we work hard because nothing ever comes easy.)
After eight long years, the team was able to bring the crown back to Taft with hard work and determination. In addition to their win, Albo was also named Most Valuable Player of Season 80.