Charleston, WV Table Tennis

Harry Sands Memorial Teams Tournament


by Ryan Robinson

The CTTC hosted the 2015 HSMTT 0n January, 24, 2015.  There were 13 teams and 44 participants the largest number of both in the history of the HSMTT, it has probably been over 2 decades since that many quality table tennis players occupied the same gym floor in Charleston. The CTTC wants to thank all the folks that participated.  Special thanks go to Chad Watson, Gretchen and Mike Corica, Arky Myatezh and Igor Kappel for taking time Friday night to go over and set the gym up for the tournament and to Nancy Sands, Avery McCoy, and Leanne and Brittany Goff for helping to manage the scores table. 

Before I get to the teams results I want to say to the Beckley Ball Bashers, who were unable to attend this year that we missed them. In spite of their absence we still managed to eat all the pizza.

The not so glorious honor of being mentioned first in the summary this year goes to the Ashland TTC.  Their squad was comprised of Dennis Durst, Tom Salyers, Mark Navarre and Anthony Giangnitti.  The ATTC struggled managing a 0-6 record and only 2 set wins on the day.  The ATTC continues to grow and I am sure they will be much improved next year and ready to prove it.

The 12th place honor or lack thereof goes to one of the 4.5 Charleston teams. CTTC4 Team Choi, comprised of Dale Goff, William (better late than never) Miller and Chad Watson.  Team Choi went winless (0-5) in round robin play but did manage a huge upset win over Lewisburg in the first round of the consolation bracket.  CTTC4 got smacked in the second round of the consolation by Clarksburg and finished the day 1-6.

As a first time participant the Belmont TTC managed only an 11th place finish and 2-5 record on the day.  The Belmont squad consisted of Jon “Thunder” Thornton, Erwin Byler and 17 year old Jon Byler.  Belmont TTC really turned some heads when as the 12th seed they upset #1 seed Huntington 3-2 in the first match of the day.  The upset culminated with Jon Byler (1388) upsetting Jay Nelson (1981) in the 5th set to take the match.  The BTTC competed hard all day and were finally sent home when they lost to Parkersburg in the consolation round finishing the tournament 2-5.  We hope to see them again next year.

Only 3 short years removed from their first Teams Title the Greenbrier Valley TTC could do no better than a 10th place finish.  GVTTC was made up of several up and coming young players, Jerry Roy, Chris Hudnall and Daniel Rose as well as the Crafty veteran Mike Butts.  When interviewed Mike said, “the most disappointing thing was losing to Dale Goff’s team in the consolation bracket.  It was bad enough we did not make the super six but to lose to Goff was just salt in the wound.”  The GVTTC finished 2-5 and nudged Belmont out of tenth through head to head results.

Finishing the day in 9th place was the team from Parkersburg consisting of 3 very promising young players; Michael Swisher (even though he insists he is not young), Jason Workman and Tony Hess.  Parkersburg was kept away by bad weather last year but they were not to be denied this year.  Their highlight of the day was an exciting doubles match with Martinsburg that Swisher and Hess battled to win to prolong the match, eventually losing in set 5 to the Current State Champion Steve Emmons.  Parkersburg was sent home after losing in the semis of the consolation bracket to CTTC3, finishing the day 2-5.

Seth Hill and the crew from Clarksburg……uh…well I mean the 2 players he had to borrow from the CTTC finished 3-4 and finished 2nd place in the consolation bracket.  Rising young players Alex King and Jimmy Nguyen filled in to help Seth field a team this year.  Nguyen and King’s excellent doubles play contributed to the teams higher than expected finish.  Nguyen played well enough in his limited singles action to pick up over 100 ratings points as well.  Be warned Seth we want these guys back next year.

The winner of the consolation bracket (The Best of the Rest) was the 3rd rated team from the CTTC.  Gretchen Corica, DW Holstein and Royce Zuniga had a fantastic day missing the Super Six only by losing their last round robin match of the day to the eventual tournament champion.  Gretchen led the team in singles play going 8-4, supported by DW’s 3-1 performance.  DW and Royce played well enough in doubles to allow CTTC3 to finish the day 5-3.

And now to the Super Six…………

All six of the HSMTT top seeded teams managed to advance to the Super Six and no team managed to lose less than 2 matches.  Now that is competitive table tennis. 

New to the HSMTT but definitely not new to competitive table tennis was the 3rd seeded team from Martinsburg (Roy’s Basement TTC).  Current State Champion Steve (bulls-eye) Emmons, Ben Arnold, who we look forward to seeing at the State Championships for the first time in February and former State Champ Roy Emmons rounded out the Martinsburg team.  Steve led his team in singles going 9-1 and only losing to the HSMTT top rated participant Jon Tannehill (2246).  Martinsburg dropped their last round robin match to CTTC2 denying them one of 2 top seeds in the Super Six.  Because of the loss they were forced to play top seeded Huntington in the first round.  Martinsburg managed to win the doubles set but it was too tall an order for them to split matches with 1979 and 2246 rated players.  Martinsburg finished the day 4-2.

The 5th place team, edging out Martinsburg by head to head results was CTTC2 Shock and Awe.  CTTC2 was made up of the same cast of characters that finished 2nd in the 2013 HSMTT; Igor (stay away from my girlfriend) Kappel, Arky Myatezh and Ron Wilkerson.  CTTC2s day was highlighted when Ron Wilkerson came back from 2 games down to upset Roy Emmons in the 5th and final set against 3rd seeded Martinsburg.  CTTC2 was sent packing in the first round of the Super Six by fellow club team CTTC1.  Shock & Awe finished the day 4-2.

The Princeton Spinners once again managed to have a great tournament.  The usual suspects Allan Tinio and Joey (Baby-Joe) Mencias plus newcomer Hidekazu Fakuda made up their powerful lineup.  The Spinners managed the capture the top seed out of group 1 but faced the same deadly lineup that ended Martinsburg’s day, in the second round of the Super Six when they faced Huntington.  Princeton lost the match 3-2 and finished the day 5-3 after losing another heartbreaker against Portsmouth to determine 3rd place.  Tinio and Mencias finished the day 8-0 in doubles setting the stage for a powerful doubles combination for the upcoming State Championships.

Portsmouth Ohio managed a third place finish in the HSMTT.  Tom Yost, Paul Yost, Andrew Gooding and Mr. Hu filled the roster of the 2nd seeded team.  Tom and Paul are not strangers to the tournament they played for the champion Huntington team in 2013.  Andrew Gooding is a veteran of the tournament before it became known as the HSMTT.  Portsmouth won the group 2 top seed in the Super Six in a 3-way tie breaker with CTTC2 and Martinsburg.  They were eventually knocked out of championship contention by CTTC1 when Mike Corica managed to beat Mr. Hu in the final set of their semi final match.  Tom Yost finished undefeated 9-0 in singles play and dropped only 2 games all day.  Portsmouth secured a 3rd place finish by defeating a tough Princeton team 3-2 in their final match of the day, they finished 5-2.

For the 4th year in a row the tournament host could only manage runner up status.  CTTC1 Nedges made up of Mike Corica, Chris Ritchie and the Great Ryan Robinson are very happy to finish 2nd considering the explosion of talent in this year’s event.  Mike Corica led the team in singles going 9-1 on the day and Robinson and Ritchie added a 6-0 doubles record.  CTTC1 was knocked out in the Championship match 3-1, by the same murderer’s row of singles matches that ended the day for Martinsburg and Princeton.  Finishing 7-2 is not too shabby for the 4th seeded team.

No big surprise, for the 3rd straight year the Huntington team managed to import overwhelming talent and take the trophy back to H-Town.  Out of towners John Tannehill, 5 time State Champion Dave Albright and Mihn Nyguen joined Jay Nelson and Jon Lamp to form the Championship team.  Huntington finished the day 7-2 while winning their 3rd straight HSMTT.  The CTTC was very happy to see Dave Albright again, we hope he makes it home for the States.

As always the CTTC is honored to host such a fun event held in memory of our former club President Harry Sands.