St. Paul Highland Park senior Phlower Vang won the badminton singles state championship Thursday, achieving a goal for herself and seizing a spot in history for her team.

Vang, ranked first in the state, defeated No. 2 Kimberly Tobar of St. Paul Harding 21-19, 18-21, 21-13 at Edina High School. She made Highland Park the first school to have three consecutive singles champions, and she kept up with some rivals. Last year, when Vang finished fourth, the champion was Sunshine Vang, her sister. The year before it was HaNeul Jeong-McDonell, a buddy.

Losing wasn't an option.

"I had to get first," Vang said. "I saw my friend win and my oldest sister win and I knew I had to do it."

Phlower Vang's title was Highland Park's fourth in singles, tying Harding and St. Paul Central for second most in the state.

After Vang won a close first set, Tobar mustered an energetic comeback in the second. Tobar was the only player to defeat Vang this season, and Vang said she knew that if Tobar took a lead in the third set she could run away with the match.

"I kept telling myself that I had to hit it in and stop doing all these tricks," Vang said. "Coach told me that I had it, but I was getting into my head."

A fast start in the third set settled Vang's nerves and the match. Her sixth win of the tournament made her 31-1 this season.

In doubles, Edina's Ivy Peterson and Sanna Coma, who finished second last year and were seeded first, defeated second-seeded Dao Sangwang and Goldy Moua of St. Paul Johnson in two sets. Peterson and Coma went 26-1 this season.