Ping-Pong Makes Some Noise at State

Rayyaan Usmani, Sports Writer

The Boys’ and Girls’ Ping-Pong teams wrapped up their season last week, showing considerable success – as they have all year – in the State tournament. For many years, the Wildcat Ping-Pong teams have achieved a variety of different feats, including numerous top three finishes in the State tournament.

Senior member Tommy Jaakola described this season as a real joy to be a part of. “The best experience was definitely the State tournament. We played together for over seven hours and dominated for much of the day.” Jaakola was unquestionably not exaggerating the success that the Boys’ squad had at the tournament. He personally had a 6-2 record, while teammates Anthony Metcalfe and Nick Asta also dominated. The boys beat Austin and Bloomington Jefferson in pool play, while also going on to beat Rochester Mayo in the round of 16. The day ended with a heartbreaker, however, as the boys lost to Benilde St. Margaret’s in the quarterfinals.

“Throughout the season, our key guys were definitely our number one player Anthony Metcalfe, Nick Asta, Joe Rohlf, defensive specialist Jake Ossell, and myself,” Jaakola stated. “We lost quite a few talented seniors from last season, so it is awesome that we were able to make it as far as we did.” The team made it to the quarterfinals of the State tournament last year, which shows that the team has not lost a step.

The Girls’ squad encountered success this season too. They fared well in tournaments throughout the season and finished the season with a third place finish at the State tournament. Senior member Linde Schaffer stated that the key contributors on the team this year were Taylor Luecke, Allie Luecke, Halle McGuire, and Anusha Arcalgud. The team stayed on track the entire season, showing consistency from the beginning to the end.

Schaffer joined the team this season, describing it as an extremely enjoyable experience. “The best experience for me personally has been the practices, because they are really fun and relaxed. They are a great way to end the week.” The team will lose two seniors after this season, but Schaffer believes the team will continue its success next year.

Overall, both teams achieved the goals they set at the beginning of the season. They fought hard and played extremely well throughout the year. Jaakola stated that the season brought some good times and provided some great competition in the underrated sport of Ping-Pong. “This season was super fun, and I am proud of how our teams played this season.” Let’s hope that this success continues for years to come.