Josh Chuang Repeats as HBS Ping Pong Champion
Ning Xu leads New B Ping Pong Effort, finishes 2nd
This year’s HBS Ping Pong Tournament drew 84 players from the RC and EC classes. Of those 84, only Josh Chuang (OA) remained standing at the end of the day.
Chuang, the winner of last year’s tournament, defeated eight consecutive opponents to capture the title for the second consecutive year. Using a combination a nasty spinning serves and an accurate forehand smash, Chuang had little trouble navigating the field of 84. Some observed that he was practicing using an iPhone as a paddle between matches.
Ning Xu (NB), played incredibly well (10-2 overall) and finished in second place, losing to Chuang in the finals. Section-mate Amol Shah (NB) stayed alive into the Elite 8 to give NB enough points to capture the RC crown. Ning game Chuang a pretty good match in the finals, losing 11-6, 11-6, 11-4.
Jonathan Bassani (NG), made it to the Winner’s Bracket Finals, only to run into Chuang and lose in straight sets. He finished in third place. In a post-tournament interview Bassani attributed his ping pong prowess to “owning a ping pong table growing up as a kid”. Bassani’s deep run was highlighted by an amazing comeback victory against Ning Xu earlier in the tournament, in which he was down 9-3 in game two and came back to win.
Christian Bettinger (ND) may have the most impressive statistic of the tournament as the only one to take a set from Chuang, losing 3-1 in the Winner’s Bracket semifinals. Bettinger was eventually eliminated by Ning Xu, and finished in fourth place overall.
Andrew Grochal (OA), Jeff Lee (NJ), and Fola Folowosele (NE) got hot late in the tournament to earn spots in the Elite 8 before elimination.
Carle Stenmark (OA), reserved the position as “first officially eliminated,” after losing to Clementine Contat (NI) and Rameez Dossa (NG) in back to back games. Said Stenmark of the early exit, “I was going back and forth on the proper footwear, and mixed up my pong shoes with my ping pong shoes. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and refocus on my strength and conditioning program.”
Thanks to all who played – look for Badminton next March!