Dordt College News

Students from India, Korea are top players in table tennis tourney

May 5, 2010

Ping Pong

It was an international battle of the paddles at Dordt College Thursday, April 29, when a semester of campus-wide ping pong competitions concluded with a final championship round in the Campus Center game room.

The final eight represented both students and staff in a league organized at the beginning of the semester by Michael Gorter and Steven Oswald, both students from Sioux Center. Gorter and Oswald both made the finals, as did Michael’s dad, who is Dean of Chapel at Dordt.

Filling out the brackets were David Puruolte, Churachandpur Manipur, India; JaeSeung Baek, Seoul, South Korea; Sam Hart, Cedar Rapids, IA; Matthew Postmus, Kalamazoo, MI; and Chris De Jong, Dordt’s Director of Career Services and Calling, the only other staff member to make it to the finals.

The ping pong competition was not the first for Pastor Rod Gorter: when he was a student at Dordt (1978-1982) he organized a campus tournament for three years in a row. When asked how he did as a student, he recalls, “I made it to the quarter finals.” He added with a smile, “I’m hoping age and wisdom prevail tonight.”

All of the residence halls at Dordt have ping pong tables, and North Hall held their own competition earlier this year, starting at 10 p.m. and sometimes continuing to the early morning hours. The North Hall champion won the right to play Pastor Gorter. That resulted in father and son on opposite sides of the table, with Michael prevailing over his dad in the North Hall match-up.

Leading up to the playoffs were several weeks of ladder league play, with roughly 30 players who moved up the player list when they won or down the roster when they lost. “It’s a mental game that relieves stress,” noted Michael when asked what he liked about table tennis.

Thursday night it came down to the best of the best, with a number of spectators on hand to watch the action. “These guys got fire!” remarked spectator Casey Hawks. “It’s like a crazy person against a crazy person. Their hand-eye coordination, like how do they do that?”

The competition was intense, with at least one cracked ball and a remark overheard, “Oh, that’s gonna leave a mark.”

In the end, it was David Puruolte who took home the trophy, with JaeSeung Baek as the runner-up.

Competitors who made the play-offs but not the final round were students Brian Verwolf, Jenison, MI; David Kuhfuss, Woodbury, MN; Travis Van Holland, Sioux City, IA; Jon Luetchens, Murdock, NE; Joel Buys, Luverne, MN; Analu More Demestri, Sioux Center; Dordt’s web master, Brady Fopma; and a math professor, Calvin Jongsma.

Additional players in this year’s ping pong league were David Riley, Mount Vernon, WA; Eun Jin Park, Seoul, South Korea; Jenna Vander Woude, Lynden, WA; Caleb Albers, Parsons, KS, Nathan Bos, Sioux Center; Rachel Gorter, Otley, IA; Natalie Romero, Sioux Center, IA; Kraig Bleeker, Learning Community Area Coordinator; John Visser, Business Administration Professor; Art Attema, Business Education Professor; Jim Bos, Registrar; Curtis Taylor, Director of Institutional Planning; and Bethany Schuttinga, Associate Provost for Co-Curricular Programs.

See photos from the tournament here

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