Everyone please take a deep breath…….Great! You are in for the ride of your life as you listen closely to a tournament with lots of twists and turns. No pun intended! It all began on a cold winter morning on Saturday December 8th, 2018. Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa Claus was bearing gifts and has brought table tennis to Triangle Table Tennis in Morrisville, NC. Santa Claus dropped off his gifts at the door of TTT. We grabbed the gifts and unwrapped them and behold this is what we received! The first gift we came across had a small ribbon with a deep blue color. We unwrapped it and found out it was the U1200 with some prize money inside for the top winners. The next gift a little bigger and bright red with two bows on each corner. We proceeded to unwrap that one and discovered the U1600 with also some prizes guaranteed for the winners. The next gift was quite large and heavy; it came straight from the North Pole with Santa’s signature on it. It was striped with various colors and very shiny. We were perplexed at the sight of the gift, but still decided to open it up and found out that it was a substantial gift. It was the U2250 with some big prizes that would be delivered to the winners of this great event. One gift was left. It was unusually big and seemed very odd. We looked closely and saw that it was shipped express from Brazil. All of us at TTT were in wonder and no one could open it up. Dennis “the Lobber” Jenson could not wait any longer and so proceeded to open up this gift which had an unusual amount of ribbons with blue, green and red colored paper. Dennis ripped off the paper and opened it up to his surprise found the Brazilian 3 Person Team Event with some decent size prize money for those who would claim victory! Thank you Santa for all the gifts! Sorry you did not have a chance to have some milk and cookies. Table Tennis Fans please get comfy around the fireplace and join me as we read the story of victories from the December Open!
Let’s do some Christmas caroling and start off by singing to the tune of the U1200. Joel “Hark the Herald” Harkness (781) sang to victory as he went 4-1 in his division and advanced to the next round in hopes to sing more joyful songs. Wen Zhang (1053) also kept on WENNING (winning) and also went to the next round and ready to unleash on his opponents. Daniel Dreano (1138) sat down and enjoyed some milk and cookies; then proceeded to the table and beat all players that approached the table. Daniel went 5-0 and decided to sit down and have more milk and cookies to celebrate his wins. He relaxed and just simply waited for the elimination round. Daniel won his next two matches but not in easy fashion. He beat Ayden Mabe (332) 3-1 and beat Wen Zhang (3-1). Daniel realized victory was not as easy as he anticipated. So he sat down and ate some fruits and vegetables this time and made his mind up to take the finals very seriously. Joel with his physical abilities played quite well. He beat Mark Schofield (477) 3-0 and beat Ngan Le (1140) 3-0. Joel was hoping he could sing one more joyful Christmas Carol and receive the first place prize that Santa had left for TTT. Daniel had time for his fruit and vegetables to digest and energize his body. Joel with lots of joy and excitement was ready to fight to the finish. Joel “Hark the Herald” Harkness vs. Daniel “the Undefeated” Dreano played in the finals match of the U1200. This game was explosive as balls flew over the table with points being exchanged from one another. Yet, Joel just could not keep up with Daniel. Daniel sang “Silent Night” and silenced Joel with a 3-0 win. Thanks guys for such a great event and congratulations to Daniel for securing Santa’s 1st place gift for the U1200!
The Christmas meal was potluck this year for the U1600. Shailesh Parihar (1482) as the top rated player brought an Indian cuisine for everyone to try. He dished out defeat to most players but was unable to overcome Nicholas Holt (1245) and Dan Kuc (1165). Since Santa Claus departed it was up to Saint Nicholas to win and bring the prize money back to the North Pole. Nicholas did very well and went 7-1 and was tied for first but lost in the tie breaker with Dan Kuc. Saint Nicholas secured 2nd place and was able to take some prize money back to the North Pole. Hope it’s enough for all the children’s gifts in the world. If not I am sure Saint Nicholas will be back! Dan “the Cook” Kuc cooked the main dish. He had the smell of victory all over him. He dished out turkey to all His opponents and put them to sleep. Dan finished with 7-1 record and his victory over Nicholas secured him the top prize money. Congratulations Dan for playing so well and keeping a humble demeanor as you claimed first place. We can all learn from your attitude and how you played, it speaks volumes! Keep it up
The U2250 which consisted of a total of 18 players and broken down into 3 groups of six was sure to be very entertaining. You are in for a treat as dessert is now served at the table with lots of pies, cakes and snacks. The top two would advance to the next round with potential of receiving more of Santa’s prize money. Everyone gathered around the table for dessert in the first round and the expected results happened. The top two players in each group enjoyed the most dessert and advanced to the next round with great desire to collect Santa’s prizes. Jason Hodak (1666) brought his own Christmas gifts and was full of surprises. He beat Wayne “the Viking” Carney (1858) 3-0. Jason again unleashed his wrath by beating Dhimant Bhensdadia (1761) 3-0 in the quarterfinals. Jason was feeling quite jolly as he went to the semifinals. Roberto “the Speedster” Morales brought a stocking full of tricks and treats. Roberto ran to the table in turbo speed and claimed victory over Mark Tulchinskiy (1678) 3-0. Roberto while still in turbo mode also beat Jason Hodak 3-0 and would advance to the finals. Phil “the What’s Up” Dadzie (1912) battled against Bella “the Lightning Bug” Xu. Phil took Bella all the way to game 5 and with sweat and determination he won and advanced. Jerred Miklowcic (1798) came with a paddle in one hand and pumpkin pie in the other. Jerred beat everyone in his way and advanced to the finals. Jerred put down the pumpkin pie and had his game face on as he faced Roberto in the finals. Roberto dug deeper into his stocking hoping to find a way to beat Jerred in the finals. Jerred, however, was unfazed by Roberto’s game and was able to defeat him 3-0. Congratulations Jerred for such a great victory and now you can enjoy Santa’s gift and yes you can also enjoy that pumpkin pie too! Keep up the good work!
Do you remember the gift Santa delivered from Brazil with lots of bows and with blue, green and red colored paper? Yes indeed! Santa dropped off the gift of the Brazilian 3 Person Teams Event at the door stop of TTT. And here is how the story unfolded. The prize money was bigger for this event and everyone had their eye on getting it. I am sure Santa wished he could watch such a great event. There were 9 teams broken into 2 groups and the top team in each group would advance to the finals. The second top teams in each group would play for 3rd place and seek to secure the water bottles and bragging rights for 3rd and of course a trip to the podium. Let’s first give a round of applause to all who participated in this great event. All teams put up a good fight and gave us all at TTT a show to remember. Let’s first talk about the fight for 3rd place. John Lee/Rob Taylor/Chingyao Chou also known as “The Block and Loop Trio” faced off against Bella Xu/Rachel Wang/Shilan Wu who were known as “The Chinese Lightning Bugs.” The energy levels were high in the building and “The Lightning Bugs” demonstrated great speed and agility and were hard to keep up with. Yet, ”The Block and Loop Trio” put on a display of power and blocking skills that gave them an edge and secured victory for themselves as them beat “The Lightning Bugs.” Let’s take a quick pause. This is a lot to take in. Wow! A great event with lots of close matches and fun watching each team with their own personalities. Ok. Let’s get to the finals. Grab some hot cocoa and nachos and sit by the fireplace as you hear the end of the story for the Brazilian 3 Person Teams Event! Let’s introduce the two teams who made it to the finals. In this corner stood Team 1 with speed, power, skill and ability to adapt. They were Bryan Zeng/Cliff Lin/Tianyi Zhou also known as “The Ninja Trio.” In the next corner stood Team 2 with determination, passion, quickness and ability to control. They were Itziar Rios/Kenai Rios/Dan Kuc also known as “The Unbreakable Wall.” Both teams were undefeated and played very well against great competition. They now had to face each other and claw their way to first place. As you may know the first team to 51 points would win and claim the big prize money that Santa left at TTT. “The Ninja Trio” flew all over the court with great hits, loops and smashes. “The Unbreakable Wall” responded to the Ninjas with their own abilities and creativity. Neither team was willing to give up so easily. Can you feel the intensity? Blow after blow, hit after hit, and point after point the teams battled. The Ninjas tried to break “The Unbreakable Wall.” Who would win? The last ball was served and you can almost see the ball moving slowly in the air. Victory! And the winners are………”The Unbreakable Wall.” It was very close and a great match! Congratulations to Itziar Rios, Kenai Rios and Dan Kuc for securing 1st Place and putting on a great show for us! You can now enjoy the top prize money that Santa left for you all!