Written by: Tim Connelly / May 5, 2018
Photo by: Earl J. Moniz
Well, another Cape Fear Open Table Tennis tournament is in the books and all I can say is- there must be something in the water. Once again- under the management of Amy Karpinski and Tony Murnahan- the tournament ran smoothly, quickly and successfully.
Tim Connelly (that’s me) went undefeated and came away with the tournament championship. Vince Green, with a terrific win over #1 seed Simon Brain, came in second as Simon held off surprisingly tough Rachel Wang for third place. All of the matches were hard-fought and style probably had more to do with Connelly’s win than anything else.
His ability to block- without even a hint of topspin- and keep the ball in play was enough to hold off Tony, Simon and Vince in the single elimination play-offs.
The story of the tournament, however was 10 year old Rachel Wang. Combining just enough power and consistency to make it into the final 8, she had a huge upset over her dad and played tough matches against Vince and Simon to fall into 4th place. I don’t think there’s any doubt that it’s going to be fun to watch her development.
There were lots of new faces and many familiar ones. We had 2 players in their 70’s in Peter Lehnecke and Fred Van Nynatten. That a 75 year old and a 10 year old can play evenly against one another is an amazing thing about our sport!
One of the highlights of the tournament was Vince’s upset win over Simon. Simon had an almost 200 point rating advantage but Vince managed to pull out a 5 game victory at 11-9 in the final game. And Tim and Simon competed against one other for the first time in a USATT tournament in some 17 years. During that time, the game has changed in so many ways but these two now much older warriors continue to enjoy the competition and the camaraderie.
This tournament was a prelude to the June 2 tournament and I’m sure that when some of the higher rated player hear of Connelly’s win- yes, that means you, Gregg Robertshaw and Jim McQueen- they’ll be signed in to make sure there will be no repeat.