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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Girls Varsity Table Tennis Captains share their thoughts on their ongoing season

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Samira Li
Captains Jenney Huang (Left) and Katherine Lian (Right).
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The Girls Varsity Table Tennis team opened the 2023-2024 season under the leadership of new team captains senior Katherine Lian and junior Jenney Huang. The team currently holds a 4-2 record, with a recent win against High School for Arts & Business, as of last Tuesday. 

Katherine (The Classic’s Multimedia Chief) started playing table tennis seriously in the summer of 2022 with her family and her  passion for the sport sparked her interest in playing competitively. She joined the table tennis team her sophomore year. Currently, she is the team’s second singles player, and it has “definitely been an incredible experience,” she said. 

Jenney began playing recreationally in the fifth grade. Her love for the sport led her to attend summer camps before high school, where she now holds the position of first singles player after joining in her freshman year. 

Jenney defined the word “captain” as someone who is “able to listen and reflect on suggestions from the team and help ease communication.” She hopes to embody this definition by “keeping the team energy high and ensuring that everyone feels comfortable with each other.” Over the course of the season, Jenney said she looks forward to personal growth and improvement, while also highlighting her hopes that the team will feel more connected and bond on a deeper level. 

Katherine said her main priority is working directly with the coach and managers to curate team strategies, as well as giving advice to team members. Katherine’s  role as captain extends beyond solely her presence at practices and games, as she is also “[managing] the team’s social media page, and helping with fundraising and team bonding efforts like Secret Santa.” 

Katherine recognizes that the season will not come without its challenges. She said, “Our league is definitely more challenging this year.” Despite this, she holds high aspirations for the current team, using last season’s triumphs and shortcomings as motivation to surpass the team’s previous records. She recalls last season with high regard, describing it as her “most memorable,” as the team advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time. “I’m very proud of our team for that, and I have high hopes for our team to do even better this year through training,” said Katherine.

Apart from the title, being captain involves a great deal of dedication and expectations. The team’s coach, Kevin Lau, spoke to The Classic: “With our current captain selection, each [captain] qualifies within the three categories I look for— great leadership, sportsmanship, and athleticism.” He described Katherine and Jenney as “outgoing individuals who care about the overall chemistry of the team,” and particularly recalled a match where the captains demonstrated outstanding leadership by “constantly reminding their teammates to have strong mental fortitude and to always look for growth and room for improvement.” 

Coach Lau also praised the dedication the captains put into improving, considering the busy lives student-athletes lead. He said, “They still find the time to improve themselves through one-on-one work with me, as well as dedicate time to focus one-on-one with certain players to help them develop.”

First doubles player Junior Acelin Tsao highlighted how Katherine and Jenney exemplify her vision of a successful captain. “Jenney overlooks practices and gives me insightful advice, helps build my game confidence, and reminds me to have fun while playing,” she said. Acelin also described Katherine as a compassionate captain who uplifts her teammates and constantly reminds them of their importance.  

Senior Ellison Daone shared that “it has been really nice to watch them grow into the captains and leaders they are today.” She said, “They’ve been very supportive and motivational, especially before games, and always give us tips. Watching them play has really helped everyone improve.”

Both captains expressed excitement for the season to progress, and with the next league game against Francis Lewis on January 4, the captains are hopeful to lead the team in a positive direction, “one step at a time”.

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About the Contributors
Chloe Mau, Sports Editor
Chloe Mau is a senior at Townsend Harris High School. She enjoys playing volleyball and baking in her free time. Her favorite memory from the 2022 - 2023 school year was the junior trip to Six Flags.
Samira Li, Photography Editor
Samira is a junior at Townsend Harris High School. She enjoys photography and art, especially digital art, and she loves playing sports, such as table tennis, tennis, handball, etc. She’s also been on the robotics team her entire time in high school and is incredibly passionate for it.
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