Muskie Katie Vittie breezed undefeated through NorWOSSA and NWOSSAA on the badminton court this season but it was a different story at the all-Ontarios in Timmins last week.
Playing against opponents who were quicker, faster, more powerful, and more skilled, Vittie lost all three of her matches—15-1, 15-6 to Kate Wood, 15-4, 15-6 to Veronica Stadler, and 15-7, 15-6 to Kate Smith.
Vittie, making the first appearance at OFSAA for a Muskie badminton player since 1994, admitted the trip was an eye-opening experience.
“I was up against some stiff competition,” she said. “I learned quite a bit. I noticed a lot of players had big power games, and that’s what I have, but I found that the players were now working me.”
Vittie quickly realized how stiff that competition would be in the first game of her first match against Wood. She never got on track and suffered a disappointing loss right away.
“She was a much faster player who liked to play the net while I am a power hitter,” she recalled. “I was never in control of the game at all.”
The same could be said for her next match against Stadler. Vittie said she had trouble with Stadler’s quickness, and the way she moved her from one side of the court to the other with precision shots.
That is one of the things she definitely needs to work on if she’s going to take her game to the next level next season, she said.
Still, Vittie seemed to play better as the tournament wore on, and her match against Smith was much closer than the previous two. The difference, she said, was Smith’s ability to serve extremely high in the air.
“Against the last girl, we both played pretty equal but she worked me on a very high serve, which forces you to hit the feathers more than the head of the bird,” Vittie explained, adding she’s seen that type of serve while playing at tournaments in Winnipeg.
But because of the relatively low ceiling in gyms here, it was impossible to practice against.
Still, Vittie is ready to make another run at the provincials next year. In fact, she already was out on the court practising earlier this week just days after getting home from Timmins.
“I really like the sport,” she said. “It’s my number-one sport whereas most of the girls [at the all-Ontarios] are multi-sport athletes and that’s where they get some of their quickness.
“This is the only sport I play,” she continued. “I have one year left so I hope to use my experience to help me next year.”