Girls’ Table Tennis: Paddling to Victory

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Dora Cham

Athena Ding ’19 focusing on the table tennis game

The 2017-2018 school year left a mark in Bronx Science’s sports history. After a long season of hard work, the Girls’ Varsity Table Tennis Team finished as undefeated champions, qualifying for semifinals. Being on a team comes with great determination and effort, which is exactly what it took for these Wolverines to witness their hard work pay off. “We all try our best, because it’s not a sport where you can slack off and still think that you’ll do well,” Yanny Liang ’19 stated.

Over the season, the team has won all twelve of their games, ten of which were 5-0, paving their way to semifinals. It was the team’s first time advancing to semifinals, so it meant a lot to each and every one of them. “Being a part of a team that finally made it to semifinals is truly inspiring,” said co-captain Ellen Ren ’19. Members of the team are not only proud of their individual accomplishments, but of their collaborative work. The one person who may have been the most proud was Coach Nicole Sisilli.

“Seeing the pride and happiness in their eyes reminded me why I became a coach in the first place,” Sisilli said.

However, this season has not always been an easy road to success. Sisilli admitted, “At the beginning of the season, the only thing holding us back was inexperience.” However, once practices started, and she saw how well everyone worked together, she was confident in the team’s ability to be successful. It was because of the team’s evident effort to improve that Sisilli had a newfound appreciation and respect for the athletes, as well as the sport itself. “What I have grown to love about the sport is the incredible agility, speed, and hand-eye coordination needed to be successful. It combines precision and intensity perfectly.” A big part of the team’s success came from their coach. Madison Shimbo ’19, Doubles Sub, would like to give a shoutout to Coach Sisilli for “being the MVP!”

Working their way to semifinals was a major accomplishment that came with a lot of cheering and brought on a lot of emotion. When they won the game that determined their qualification to semifinals, Liang said, “All my brain could think was ‘!!!!!!!!!!!!’” It didn’t have to be put into words to reflect just how happy and proud she was in that precise moment of time. Seeing how the team grew into a lasting family is one of the best things about Ren’s ’19 experience this season. Ren ’19, admires the fact that despite the team consisting of a majority of new members, “the old cliques dissolved to embrace the new members.” From all of the fooling around to defeating their biggest rival, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Ren ’19 cherishes how every member of the team became long-standing trustworthy people in her life.

The team officially ended their season as one of the top four teams in the city. Although they did not advance to finals, they are proud of their success this season.The team is set on working even harder, qualifying for semi-finals again, and making it to finals next season. Shimbo ’19 knows that “it’s extremely important to show your teammates support and to cheer them on,” and that is exactly what the girls team does at all of their games. They have built on friendships and skills so far, and will continue building for next season. As Ren said, “Here’s to growth!”

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