Princeton table tennis prepares for nationals


My name is Thomas An. I’m a junior
in the mol bio department. My name is Amaresh. I’m a junior in
the chemical engineering department. My name is Kevin Ma. I’m a
sophomore econ major. [Gabriel] I’m a sophomore, and I’m
undecided right now. AN: Myself, Amaresh, Kevin, and Gabe, the four members of our
team right now, we had all played for many years before we had come to Princeton so I think that our training from
those years has really paid off. REEDER: We’re pretty lucky. We just
get a lot of good players who come
here.
SAHU: Once we started getting people
who are good, it sort of attracted more interest. And so now we’re known
as one of the good schools that has a
good table tennis program. REEDER: It’s funny, I think the team is better known outside the school than it is here. An: Generally I’d say our team will get together once or
twice a week to hit around. Before tournaments, we’ll definitely
ramp up our practices. We’ll take advantage of all three
practice times and also some additional times. SAHU: Usually what we do is we start out with some basic drills, the
forehand and the backhand. For each shot
you can play it close to the table and
then back farther with more topspin. In table tennis we call that a loop.
So we start out hitting forehand to
forehand and then one person will start
looping from the forehand side. Then we’ll switch. And then you can both play aggressive
topspins. We’ll do a couple footwork drills
where one person moves around. Closer to the tournaments we try
to play some matches at the end to get that intensity and see how
we’re all doing. AN: My style would be “pips out,
pen hold.” I definitely have a focus
on using my forehand as much as possible. SAHU: I use topspin shots from both
sides but I definitely favor my
forehand. In rallies, I’ll try to get to my
forehand, even stepping around if
I have to. MA: I play a pretty fast game. REEDER: I’m a defensive guy. I
back up from the table. MA: The first great table tennis player
I can remember is Pan Lin [’08]. Then
came Adam Hugh [’10]. During the time that those two
were together, they were very, very strong. AN: After graduating Adam Hugh, we’re still competitive We’ve won our division for the
past eight years I think and we won again this year. In the northeast regional, which brought
together the division winners, we placed
first as well. SAHU: By finishing first we qualified directly to nationals. We
basically won everything we could
before nationals. My goal is to finish in the top six,
for sure. We’re ranked about there right now but I think that if we play well, we
can take down some of the higher teams. AN: Princeton had really been my
dream school throughout high school. I had a lot of friends that were on the table tennis team and I
knew that I wanted to continue to play. Our team is
definitely very close. We’ve gone on trips together and
I think we’ve really bonded over the past two years. MA: All our personalities kind
of click. We have that chemistry.

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