A Running Update on the OES Ping Pong Tournament

by Thomas Hochman

The school-wide revelation that is the OES Ping Pong Tournament kicked off earlier this week, and with it, the Great Hall has transformed into a war zone. 

There’s certainly somewhat of a March Madness feel to the whole thing, with the brackets, the knockout rounds, and the tens of thousands of adoring fans screaming marriage proposals at players from across the court. The notable difference, though, is that one tournament will likely play a pivotal role in the academics, careers, and futures of its competitors, while the other is just NCAA Basketball.

I, like many others, have been flying a little bit too close to the sun with my trash-talking, and run the serious risk of crashing into the proverbial sea as soon as the competition fiercens, especially given the season-ending calf tear that my partner David “TheRoseMaster” Rosenberg recently sustained.

That realization aside, I’ve been spending unhealthy amounts of time watching the ongoing group play, so without further ado, here’s a running update of each game as it’s happened.

Aneesh & Musa vs. Harper and Rachel H.:

Aneesh and Musa were one of the favorites to make a deep run in the tournament between Aneesh’s tennis background and the fact that he would likely throw any prospective partner to the wolves if they weren’t up to par with his level of play. Unfortunately for them, the crowd was unanimously somewhat partisan in favor of their underdog opponents (see here), and the significance of the moment got to them before they were able to reset. The game ended 11-to-something (Kara called me back into the Dig right at the end for “literally abandoning [my] newspaper to watch the first round of a high school ping pong match” or something to that effect, so the exact score escaped me), with Harper and Rachel playing UMBC to Aneesh and Musa’s UVA. What a start.

The Morissette Brothers vs. Erin Romano and Meghan Powers:

The Morissettes are going far in this tournament. Mark my words, stamp it, let it blow up in my face if I’m wrong, but Jack and Luke are going to will their way through this thing, even if it’s partially due to their opponents’ fear that beating them might create a rift between the two that could carry into the next decade. I mean, look: there’s unfettered intensity, and then there’s Luke Morissette hitting a backhand. I’ve heard accounts of the temperature increasing within a one mile radius (a la Chicxulub) during their games, but this is all merely speculation. Not all that surprisingly, the game ended 11-2 in Jack and Luke’s favor. In their postgame press conference, the Morissettes put it rather concisely: both teams played hard, but one team’s chemistry proved too strong. Viva.

There were a litany of other first round games today, but I missed them, so that’s all I’ve got for now. Stay tuned for the Knockout Round brackets that the Dig will be coming out with in the near future.

And just for fun, here’s our local sage Peter Bounincontro’s completely unironic take on the whole affair.

More updates coming soon.