Lowell keeps rolling

The streak has reached71 matches in a row for the Lowell girls’ badminton team, but the key number to the Cardinals’ success could be 90.

That’s how many girls tried out this year for a team that typically takes just 14 to 18 players — with only eight of those seeing court time in competition.

“It’s tough because we’d love to take all 90,” Lowell coach David MacFarlane said. “But we’re very lucky to have such a deep talent pool to draw from and such a good mixture of folks coming into the program.”

The Cardinals are 30-0 in MacFarlane’s two years at the school and swept all but four of their matches this season. They beat Washington 3-2 on Friday for their fifth consecutive San Francisco Section championship, a score that appears closer than it was considering Lowell won the first three matches to clinch the title.

Next up for the Cardinals is the All-City individual tournament at Washington, beginning today at 3:30 p.m. and wrapping up with the singles and doubles finals Thursday.

Lowell’s top doubles tandem of Serena Zhu and Maria Chow are the defending champions of the event, while top singles players Joanne Poon and Sophia Li are candidates to win the individual crown. Ying Yan Li of Balboa is the defending singles title-holder.

BCL BASEBALL brackets: The Bay Counties League Central and West playoff pairings have been set, with postseason action for both beginning today. In the West, sixth-seeded Drew will play third-seeded Crystal Springs Uplands at Sea Cloud Park in Foster City today in one first-round game, with No. 4 Stuart Hall facing No. 5 Marin Academy at Benedetti Diamond in the other. Both games begin at 4 p.m. Top-seeded Lick-Wilmerding and No. 2 University earned byes and will meet today’s winners in Thursday’s semifinals at Big Rec at 3:30 p.m. The final is Saturday at 2 p.m. at Big Rec.

In the Central, top-seeded Leadership will take on No. 4 Bay at Big Rec inone semifinal, while No. 2 International plays No. 3 Bay at Hennessey in the other. Both games begin at 3:30 p.m. The winners will meet for the championship Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Big Rec.

One thing to watch: Gateway features four female players, including starting senior right fielder Jodi Canton. The Gators don’t field a softball team, allowing girls to play baseball.

melliser@examiner.com

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