Sunday, February 10, 2008

Evanston Table Tennis Tournament

Here is a 4 minute video with highlights.

The drive up to Evanston was nice. The roads were dry and we made it up just over an hour.

We started with Austin and I in doubles. There were about 20 teams in 2 divisions. We were put into the A division. We first played Slobocan and Joey. Slobocan is a good player. I overheard Ryan Gubler, the best player in the state tell Joey who was looking for a partner that Slobocan was in the top 5 in the state. Austin and I were able to beat that pair 3-0 and advance in the bracket.

We then played Braxton and Jazva. These two players are from Provo and we usually see them in every tournament in Utah. The first four games ended up in a 2-2 draw. We played one more and barely squeaked by with the win. I was sweating that we were going to the losing bracket after that one.

Then we played Matt and Bryce. This couple had also kicked two teams into the losing bracket. Matt is currently rated 1179 and Bryce 1406 for a total of 2585. Austin is currently rated 686 and I am rated 1344 for a total of 2030. So we were the underdogs. Bryce asked me during lunch how we have been able to do it. I said “lots of luck”. He said something like “Yeah right, with lots of skill mixed in.”. Then when he heard that we were to play next, he said “Goodbye luck, goodbye skill”. It would take a near miracle for Austin and I to beat this team.

We started out and won the first match. They won the second. We won the third, and then the fourth. Austin and I were shocked. Austin was ready to throw a huge party. I warned him that it wasn’t over. In fact the next match would determine whether we took first or second. The losers bracket resolved back down to its final which ended up being Bryce and Matt again.

We played them in the finals. Austin and I were able to beat them 3-0 straight. I took video of this finals match.

We were really blessed today and Austin was thrilled. I was very pleased to have such a great partner who was hitting great and making some fantastic shots. We were able to take the first place medals for the A Division Doubles.

Then we started singles. To determine which bracket you play in there is a ladder format where you play significantly better players to find out what bracket you should be in. Austin lost to Reiner Eysser (rated 1645), a man who is very commonly used as a coach at the club. Austin lost and then lost to Braxton 2-3. This really upset Austin and he spent nearly an hour crying and mourning that loss. Jacob (rated 449) played Dale Majors (rated 1568) and lost. But that didn’t bother him. He kept having fun at the Rec Center and went swimming with Jonas.

I played Reiner Eysser in the ladder and beat him 3-0. They were all close games and Reiner was a great sport and complimented me several times on my game. The results of the ladder put me in the Open (The highest division), Austin and Jacob both were in the C Division (The lowest division). I told Austin that he would have more fun and success in that bracket and not to be depressed about it.

In each singles division it is a double elimination round. Jacob lost both of his first matches and visibly had a great time. He had a few great shots, but consistency is something we need to work on. He went on to just play on the climbing wall at the Rec center.

I played Jeff St. Clair (rated 1632) and took him to 2-1. Then he gained some momentum and won two more in a row to beat me 3-2. He also complimented me several times on my game and was a good sport. I was in the losing bracket now. I then played Bryce (rated 1406) and beat him 3-0. I had several “edges” which I apologized for because those can be frustrating especially when you get a lot of them.

I then played Dale Majors (rated 1568) and had a 1-1 match on him, but then he beat me two in a row to kick me out of the tournament. I had several good shots, but his forehand loop was unstoppable.

Austin was undefeated in his bracket and played an older gentleman, Jordan in the finals. He lost the first match 2-3, but since Austin was undefeated and Jordan was in the losing bracket, Jordan had to play another match with Austin to claim the C division medal. I sat Austin down and told him to calm down and not let anger or frustration consume him (I used master Yoda’s teachings). That he could not be successful if he used his emotions to dictate his play, instead of his instincts and techniques. He played much better and I stayed nearly out of Austin's view so he could use his own inner strength to play instead of constantly looking to me for advice. He did much better and won 3-1. Austin took first place for the C division.

We all had a great time at the tournament and enjoyed the company of all the players there. We’re looking forward to the Utah Valley Open in April.

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