SGA Holds Eighth Annual Ping Pong Tournament

The Student Government Association (SGA) held its annual table tennis tournament on May 16. Beginning with 42 participating two–person teams, and ending with one winning team, the night was full of competitive matches and a grand finale topping the rest, capping another successful tournament for the SGA.  

To participate in the tournament, teams needed to pay an entry fee of $5. The profits accumulated from the event were used towards senior awards, more specifically the Unsung Hero award. “[The SGA] will give a small scholarship to one or two members of the senior graduating class that are deserving of it– doing things modestly and without wanting attention,” SGA advisor Mary Kirby said.

Beginning the competition, the teams in Pool A were dominated by the “Men in Chem,” a team made up of senior Riley Fowler and junior Zuhair Khan, and the “Class Clowns,” a team made up of seniors Gerald Ortiz and Sara Cilinger. “The Men in Chem” fought vigorously throughout Pool A and defeated the “Class Clowns,” becoming the champions of the first quarter of the tournament. 

Team “Fagen,” a combo of both senior Michael Fagen and junior Jesse Bodian, made a run for the championship, passing Team “Roch,” made up of freshmen Jake Palay and Chase Samelson, in the beginning of Pool B, but were soon eliminated at the hands of the “Spin Doctors,” made up by sophomores Brian Gilmartin and Cooper Schorr, before they could make it to the semi-finals. 

Pool C consisted of the “Aloha All-Stars,” made up of sophomores Kate Santoli and Jessica Strohofer, who were defeated by team “Merica,” made up of freshmen Luke Pignataro and Kaden Rogers. To emerge out of Pool C and enter the semi finals was “Star Spangled,” made up of seniors Jake Lunati and Sebastian Cuenca. 

The final pool before the semi-finals, Pool D, concluded with a harsh battle between the “Gentlemen,” made up of freshmen Nick Mignella and Jake Brenneis, and “The Munchies,” made up of sophomores Giovanni Ortiz and Emmett O’Grady. “The Munchies” were eliminated after losing at the last point, and the “Gentlemen” were on to the semi-finals.

The semi-finals consisted of two separate matches between the teams that defeated their pool. One was between “Men in Chem” and the “Spin Doctors,” and the other, the “Gentlemen” and “Star Spangled.” The “Spin Doctors” and the “Gentlemen” did not go down without a fight, but both were eliminated in the semi-final round. The finale would be played by the “Men in Chem” and “Star Spangled” to crown the 2023 Ping Pong Champion. 

Ping Pong champions Riley Fowler (L) and Zuhair Khan (R). (Sean Strohofer)

Any mistakes made in the final round could potentially cost each team their victory. After an intense rally, the final point was scored, and the “Men in Chem” were crowned champions.“We’ve been talking about the tournament for weeks, and we’re just really happy we got to play together,” Khan said, in regards to winning the tournament. “We were really excited, so it’s nice to get the win.”