By Michael Reff
On Friday morning April 10 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, two California teams duked it out to force a deciding double’s match ending in a thrilling upset victory for 17th seed UCSD over 5th ranked Berkeley. UCSD Sophomore Anthony Chu, a 2466 rated player majoring in Math and Computer Science, along with teammate Jay Ong, an Australian international freshman Economics major, took down the Berkeley Bears in nail-biting fashion: 12-10 in the fifth game of tiebreaking doubles.
In this final fifth game, the score was extremely close but then Berkeley started to gain lead at 8-6. A pivotal timeout was called by UCSD, followed by an excellent win on serve to close the margin by one point at 7-8. Next UCSD tied it up at 8-8, whereas the next point went to them yet again, after a Berkeley backhand shot went long. This time the tables were turned, and Berkeley called the timeout, being down 8-9. They proceeded to win the next point followed by a lucky break on the net to acquire match point at 10-9. Then in a clutch play, after a series of counter loops, UCSD won the next point to make it to deuce at 10-10. At 11-10 UCSD was up and finished it in a spectacular display of reaction speed with them instantly blocking a hard drive from Berkeley. UCSD teammates cheered in loudnproud fashion and the upset was complete.
When asked how he felt about beating a much higher rated team, Jay Ong replied, that it “means a lot to come out here and perform our best.” He said that both teams played great and there was a lot of luck.
Jay’s doubles teammate Anthony Chu added that it was exciting to win. He also shed light on the double’s pairing, saying that initially he had been practicing with another teammate for doubles, but this was a last-minute switch to the roster. It may appear like it was a risk to do such a thing, but the dynamic duo of Ong and Chu pulled it off. Congrats to the UCSD King Tritons for an exciting victory in the first team match of the preliminary rounds of the NCTTA college table tennis championships. We shall see how the competition proceeds for them.
The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro CVB and is one of the premier table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Men’s/Coed Teams, Women’s Teams. The event is sponsored by iSET, Double Happiness, SPI, Greensboro CVB, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis
Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th.
The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America. www.nctta.org
About USA Table Tennis
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). www.usatt.org