Table Tennis Season is Back!

Alyssa Lee, Reporter

Since Table Tennis was introduced to FDR almost 6 years ago in 2014, and both the girls and boys teams have made quite an impact on the school with their drive and passion for the sport. With the arrival of December begins the PSAL’s winter season, and both Table Tennis teams are back readier than ever to play. The girls and boys Table Tennis team have been practicing hard to start off their season. We had a chance to talk to Coach Stanco of the girl’s team and Coach Lam of the boy’s team about the upcoming season. 

  1.   What expectations do you have for this year’s Table Tennis team?

Coach Stanco: My expectations for this year’s team is to be competitive and have the girls play to the best of their abilities. 

Coach Lam: Our team is one of the strongest in the city. Although we lost our two best players, we have new faces that are ready to fill those roles. We have a legitimate shot to get into the finals, and both our doubles have the potential to finish as top 3 in PSAL Individuals this year. 

  1.   What are some team goals you hope to achieve this season?

Coach Stanco: A goal for this year’s team is for all members to bond and be supportive of one another. 

Coach Lam: All our student-athletes have the potential to grow and improve.  Our team record is simply the byproduct of their hard work, commitment, and sacrifice. Although we are a very strong team, this is not enough to get to the finals. 

  1.   What players should we be keeping an eye on?

Coach Stanco: Khrystyna Stepura is showing promise to lead the team as the 1st Singles.  Anchoring the team are seniors, Karolina Vezryan and Cindy Li.

Coach Lam: Kyle Natividad has emerged into a phenomenal student-athlete. He trained all summer, and he went from being a sub last year, to become our team’s second singles. Kyle plays a defensive “chopping” style that is not common in today’s modern table tennis. In the entire city, there are less than ten choppers. This style makes many players uncomfortable and in our first match, Kyle made a convincing victory shutting down Staten Island Tech’s second single with a score of three to zero. (Video of the match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFr6CzhUBPo&fbclid=IwAR3IrhU5PHh2rtKBul75i_4fJTkRbu03m4v9ZuIPS0h1c3pQioThlbU3vsY)

  1.   What challenges do you expect to face this season?

Coach Stanco: Staying consistent… Play each point, don’t get to high from wins and don’t get to low from losses. 

Coach Lam: As a coach, my biggest challenge is the lack of challenge. Our boys won’t face any real competition until semi-finals and finals. Not getting the chance to play better competition isn’t going to reveal some of our weaknesses. With that being said, I have put a lot of pressure on our starters. We are playing a hyper-aggressive style of table tennis. The goal is to end all matches in three games and attack all serves and experiment with new styles as well. This seems to be the only way to get better based on the competition we have. 

  1.   What are you most confident about?

Coach Stanco: I am confident that all members will represent FDR HS proudly.  We aim to be competitive and play with class and character.

Coach Lam: The depth and level of talent we have. This year we have more committed players than in the past and half our roster are sophomores. Our second single to our exhibition doubles are all playing at an extremely high level.