Power. Drive. Determination.
That pretty much encapsulates the effort Scottsdale Chaparral’s Courtney Foltz gave in defeating Kiyoko Hashimoto of Phoenix Mountain Pointe 11-1, 11-1 to win the state badminton championship Saturday afternoon at Glendale Independence.
So complete was the win that Foltz, who entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed, simply breezed through the competition. In the process, she lost only one set in six matches on her way to a second state title. As a sophomore, Foltz was part of Chaparral’s state-winning doubles team.
This time, Foltz, a senior, was all business — serious business.
“This came down to who wanted it more, and I wanted this badly,” Foltz said. “This was fun and, in fact, it was the most fun I have had all season.”
In allowing just two points to Hashimoto, the top seed, the match marked the third time in the tournament in which Foltz allowed opponents two or fewer points for an entire match.
All aspects her game were in full operation. Foltz’s power was evident and her overhand slams constantly kept Hashimoto off balance. Plus, a deadly combination of backhanders and tantalizing drop shots added to her devastating portfolio.
“What makes Courtney a good player is that she listens and then makes the necessary adjustments,” said Chaparral badminton coach Carrie Davis. “With some kids, it goes in one ear and out the other, but Courtney listens and then changes her performance.”
If there was one aspect of Foltz’s game that needed work, it was the backhander. Davis stressed effort and diligence and helped raise that level of Foltz’s game. When the backhander was utilized for points, the results were evident.
Foltz advanced to the finals with a 11-4, 10-13, 13-10 win over Vashnavi Koka of Mountain Pointe, while Hashimoto gained a spot in the finals with an 11-2, 11-2 victory over Allison Weber of Gilbert Mesquite in the semifinal round.
Midway through the match, a fan yelled encouragement to Foltz by saying, “Keep it up, Courtney. It’s your day.”
It certainly was, and Foltz was flawless.
In doubles competition, Sabrina Martinez and Geneva Heinke of Mountain Pointe defeated Carina Arellano and Meghan Crown of Phoenix Xavier Prep, 17-14, 15-10 for the state title.