St. Paul Highland Park's Phlower Vang trounced the competition throughout her final season of high school badminton, concluding with a 31-1 record.

That one loss was in a conference singles match against Kimberly Tobar of St. Paul Harding, a loss Vang avenged in the championship round of the 2024 badminton state tournament.

"Harding was the one I was searching out for because I knew she was up there with me," Vang said. "But anything else was fairly easy."

It was also a fairly easy choice to declare Vang the Star Tribune's Metro Player of the Year in badminton.

Entering the tournament, Vang was ranked No. 1 in the state and seeded No. 1, after a season in which her sister, Sunshine, won the state title and Phlower finished fourth. Phlower, a senior, capitalized on the opportunity to add to the family legacy.

"I was close to playing my sister last year, but then I lost so I knew that this year I had to win," said Vang, who plans to stay in St. Paul and attend Metropolitan State, seeking a degree in nursing. "It is really cool being up there with her."

Vang finished with a career total of 53 wins, second most in the state in the past three seasons. She stopped 11 short of Sunshine's total.

When Vang doesn't have a racket in hand, she is still on a court, playing volleyball. But her love for badminton prevails and has since she picked up the sport in sixth grade.

"Badminton is not a well-known sport, but that's what I like about it," Vang said. "It's not like volleyball where the net's like 7 or 8 feet where height matters, or like tennis, where you have to have those upper-strength arms to hit it."