New MSMS tradition emerges with pingpong tournament


Caleb Jenkins

MSMS students organize and host the second annual ping-pong tournament.

Natalia Igwebuike, Staff Writer

MSMS students eagerly headed to the Frazer Hall lobby to watch and participate in the second-annual MSMS Pingpong Tournament held on Sept. 25.

Seniors Nicholas Djedjos and Sam Sun returned as co-hosts of the tournament. After organizing and competing in the event last year, the two said they were more than ready to prepare for the tournament this year.

“Last year was a little more stressful for us because it was our first time trying to put anything together,” Djedjos said. “We didn’t know what the interest was going to be, but since we knew there are going to be people one hundred percent interested in the pingpong tournament, it helped.”

This year’s tournament consisted of a single-elimination bracket of 32 competitors, all eyeing the title of 2021 MSMS Pingpong Tournament Champion.

After a couple of hours into the tournament, Sun, Djedjos, junior Gordon Welch and junior Andrew Liu advanced as semifinalists. Between the two semifinal rounds with Djedjos against Sun and Liu against Welch, Sun and Welch were the last two players standing.

“I was, even on the very first round when it was [starting], I was sweating a bit,” Sun said. “You never know what’s going to happen, especially in pingpong, games are so short. It is like anything can happen.”

After multiple rounds, Sun won, defending his title as the second-straight winner of the tournament.

Like the previous tournament, the event was organized to follow COVID-19 guidelines. Only 10 people were allowed in the lobby to ensure social distancing, and paddles were sanitized after each player’s use.

Welch said he enjoyed participating in the tournament and the environment the competition created that day.

“The tournament was a fun way to get to know people better and socialize,” Welch said. “While waiting for your match to start, you could talk to someone you barely knew and know a lot more about them when it’s your turn to play.”

Although they won’t be able to host next year’s tournament, Djedjos and Sun said they hope the tournament can continue after they graduate and also expressed hope for a doubles bracket competition next year.

“We’re hoping this continues to be an MSMS tradition,” Djedjos said. “We hope some juniors are going to pick up the MSMS annual pingpong tournament, and keep it going for years to come. We’re really grateful for Mr. Robinson [and] Dr. McConnell for being open, and for ResLife for being open and allowing us to do this.”