Maggie Trias began the season trembling.
Then the shots started falling, the shuttlecock whistled past opposing badminton racquets and the wins started piling.
The Skyline senior went from being uneasy about moving to the No. 1 slot in the Coyotes lineup to becoming a top five player in the state.
Her growth was on display on Tuesday when Trias won the Mesa City badminton tournament at Skyline by going 5-0 in the Gold Division.
“I was really nervous at the beginning because I knew there were a lot of really good No. 1s,” she said. “My first match my hands were shaking, but I feel a lot more comfortable.”
That tends to happen when only one defeat blemishes an otherwise perfect season.
“She has really stepped up and has become a phenomenal player through hard work,” Skyline coach Erik Lutz said. “She is getting better and better, and her confidence has really skyrocketed.”
Trias, who avenged her only defeat against Perry’s Jillian Lagasca, has helped lead the Coyotes to the East Valley Region title with an undefeated record, the Mesa City title and a 12-3 overall record.
“A lot of people have really filled the gaps (created by graduation),” Lutz said. “We are building from the bottom because we are young. The previous coach built the foundation and we keep building on it.”
The other top players for Skyline are April McElroy, Ana Munoz, Vanessa Chavez, Michaela Daas, Stephanie Quinones and Angelina Saloum.
Daas and Munoz combined to go undefeated on Tuesday in the Gold Division.
“They have really come together, and will represent us at state,” Stutz said. “Michaela is a real stud and set the tone for our team.”
The tournament was a round robin event as Trias went undefeated Red Mountain’s Abby Mann was second and Mesa’s Lindsey Duke was third in the Gold Division.
In the Silver Division, Red Mountain’s Arianna came away undefeated.
In the Gold doubles action, Daas and Munoz bested Westwood’s Taskina Bhuiyan/Sierra Madvig and in the Silver doubles action Skyline’s Quinones and Chavez went undefeated.
The last event of the season is the individual and team state tournaments next week.
“We will be ready,” Trias said. “We’ve been working hard, and this is what we have been working for all this time.”
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mesa City Badminton Tournament
1st place– Maggie Trias Skyline High School (5-0 record) 13 pts
2nd place– Abby Mann Red Mountain (4-1 record) 11 pts
3rd place– Lindsey Duke Mesa (3-2) 11pts
1st place– Arianna Comes Red Mountain (5-0 record) 13 pts
2nd place– April McElroy Skyline (4-1 record) 12 pts
3rd place– Leah Denman Mountain View (3-2 record) 11 pts
1st place– Michaela Daas/ Ana Munoz Skyline (5-0 record) 13 pts
*2nd place– Taskina Bhuiyan/Sierra Madvig Westwood (4-1 record) 11 pts
*3rd place– Janae Ziebell/Caitney Smith Red Mountain (3-2 record) 10 pts
*4th place– Brooklyn Heywood/ Tatum Monk Mountain View (2-3 record) 7 pts
*There was an error entering the scores/dispensing medals
1st place- Vanessa Chavez/Stephanie Quinones Skyline (5-0 record) 12 pts
2nd place– Kailee Grey/ Darian Schmid Mountain View (4-1 record) 12 pts
3rd place– Tina Cassadore/Jadyn Acker Dobson (3-2 record) 9 pts