Six tables, 12 paddles, the occasional robot, a bucket of small
orange balls and more than 50 members of one of Michigan’s
strongest club sports fill the corner of the Michigan Sports
Coliseum four times a week.

Janna Hutz
Jon Boschan, an LSA fifth-year senior, enjoys waterskiing over the summer on Long Lake in Cheboygan. (RYAN WEINER/Daily)

The table tennis club meets Monday through Thursday from 7 p.m.
to 9 p.m., with many activities that range from competitions to
round-robin tournaments, open matches and training sessions.

The club’s competition schedule has been vastly expanded this
year thanks to its bid into the Michigan Collegiate Division. The
docket now features matchups with Michigan State, Ohio State and
Oakland University.

For new players who are just starting out, the club holds
round-robin tournaments every Monday and Wednesday. They are
perfect for those seeking a challenge without jumping outside of
the club walls.

“They get pretty intense,” club president Clement Chan said.
“Everyone is very competitive.”

Aside from the competition-level players, most of the club’s
members play on an even level. The equal matchups often lead to
exciting tournaments where players can flip-flop control of a
match, taking it down to the wire.

If your ping-pong ego is still too fragile for round-robin play,
Tuesdays and Thursdays are open-play nights.

“The thing about table tennis is it’s a sport and a game for
everyone,” Chan said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, anyone can
pick up a paddle and improve.”

The club really shines when it comes to turning basement
all-stars into world-class table-tennis masters. Thanks to a robot
that can put wicked spin on a ball and personal lessons from Chan,
players can reach a level of play they didn’t know they could
achieve.

“There is all kinds of different training here,” freshman Yaniv
Zimet said. “Playing against better players is the training I like
the best.”

Above all else, the atmosphere in the table tennis club is
unsurpassable. Every member is eager to help their fellow players
improve, and you can’t stand around for more than 30 seconds
without being challenged to a match by six people.

Individuals take cake: Eleventh place wasn’t exactly
where the Michigan water ski team expected to find itself after
competition at the National Collegiate Water Ski Championships, but
the team returned home with smiles on their faces.

“It was a good weekend, we had a lot of fun,” senior Brian
Spinneweber said. “Being at Nationals was just the icing on the
cake.”

Senior Amanda Coleman took 19th place in the women’s jumping
portion of competition. Spinneweber walked away with a finish of
18th in men’s tricks.

Louisiana-Lafayette took top honors, clinching its third NCWSA
national title.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *