Table Tennis Starts off Strong

Table+Tennis+Starts+off+Strong

Gillian Ho , Staff writer

The Varsity Table Tennis Team drubbed the United Nations International School (UNIS) 5-0 in their first match this Monday.

The team’s end goal is to win the Independent School Table Tennis League (ISTTL) championships as they have in previous years, team member Jiyon Chatterjee (12) said.

Practices consist mainly of friendly matches which train players to adapt to real-life competition against other schools, team member Henry Levinson (12) said. During practice, the team aims to improve their strategies to win the matches as well as improve their technique. For example, they practice serves, forehands, and backhands, he said. 

Jiyon’s torn ACL has been a major setback for the team so far this season, Levinson said. However, two new talented players, Siddhant Jain (10) and Jason Chae (9), will be an asset to the team, and will help fill the gap left by Jiyon’s absence, he said.

Another unique aspect of their team is their female co-captain, Jiya Chatterjee (12). “It’s really cool to have a female captain for a predominantly male team,” Jiyon said. “She has a really positive attitude even in the face of obstacles, she makes an effort to bond with underclassmen teammates, and she’s been a great player on the team since freshman year.”

This year, Avi Kumar (12), along with Jiya, were voted by the team members to be team co-captains.

The game against UNIS was successful, with all players––three singles players and two doubles partnerships––winning their matches. “I think we did an especially good job of adapting to their tables, which were different from ours, playing consistently, and not making too many unforced errors,” Levinson said. Jain particularly stood out to Levinson: “[He] deserves a shout-out for winning his first ever match on the HM table tennis team as first singles.”

Even though the competition was tough at times, trusting his instincts worked well for Jain, he said. “[Sometimes] in the game [I felt like I was] lagging behind and it felt like he would beat me,” Jain said. “In the end, it felt great to win.”

“We have fun and enjoy competing. We have an experienced team so they don’t get nervous for matches. They feel they are prepared for anything,” Coach Caroline Surhoff said.