The table tennis team’s bounce into the season

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This season, the Girls Table Tennis team is fighting for a spot in the playoffs. Losing seniors from the previous year, captains Jaime Tran and Chloe Pan are optimistic in achieving this goal. However, struggles still lie ahead for the team of 14 girls. 

With four other schools in the Queens East division, the competition is as intense as ever. Chloe explains the abnormality of this season’s schedule, saying, “We usually only play two games against one team, but with Cardozo and Francis Lewis, we have three games.” With the increased number of games, the team will have more chances to get first in the division. The team already beat rivals Francis Lewis in their third game of the season with a score of 5-0 and are now focused on beating Cardozo.

With these successes, a multitude of struggles follow. Some players found difficulty in adjusting to this season because of their new roles and the smaller division. Jaime moved from first doubles to third singles this year and was nervous.  “Playing doubles is a lot different…when playing doubles, you have a partner right next to you and if you guys start to lose, there will be someone next to you to calm you down or talk and tell you what you can improve on,” said Jaime. Although playing singles is a more individualized experience, she is ready to take on all her opponents and lead the team to victory. 

The team’s dedication and passion for the sport make the season worthwhile. Chloe explained, “As a team we place more emphasis on who’s more dedicated, and who comes to practice more because in the end, that’s what is going to earn you a spot on the starter team.” Some players, like first singles Sydney Ho, show their dedication through out-of-school practice with professional teams, while other players, like Chloe and Jaime, simply play at home with their own tables. At the end of the day, it is about who puts in the most effort to be a better player, for themselves and the team. 

Making the playoffs is a top priority for the team. Currently, the team has professional coaches and experienced players to reach this goal. “I know that Sydney gets professional practice and she learns drills that we are sometimes able to do,” said Chloe. Having professional help will aid the younger talent in the team learn the ins and outs of the sport and allow the captains to experiment with more advanced playing methods. The team is willing to take new approaches to further cultivate their skills through student and faculty relations. Chloe said that “it will be a fight” to accomplish their goals for the year, but with their resources and dedication, they have a bright future. 

Photo by Derrick Chia.