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April 28, 2024

Shuxian Song Wins First Departmental Ping Pong Tournament

The first annual departmental ping pong tournament, which took place over nine grueling months of pinging, ponging, and heroic scheduling achievements, came to a thrilling close on April 25, in front of a packed common room, as Shuxian Song, first-year graduate student, was awarded the championship belt by PP Commish Nate Tenpas, with a 3 games to none victory over Yixuan Huang in one epic run-on sentence.

The final four event started with a rousing rendition of Sweet Victory which brought the crowd to its feet.  In the first semifinal match, Stevenson Professor Akram Aldroubi fell to Huang in a best of three series that consisted of two competitive games.  While there was general confusion as to when the match actually started, and what the etiquette was for cheering, onlookers were treated to an entertaining show that was an omen for what was to come.

In the second semifinal match, eventual champion Shuxian Song defeated Commish Tenpas, again in straight games.  Both players drew gasps from the crowd with their impressive play.  In the end, Song was too much for Tenpas to handle.

The final match was, fittingly, the most intense of all.  Paddles were swung, balls were hit, points were scored, and the crowd in attendance was left stunned by the awesome display of ping pong prowess.  In the best of five series, Song took the game in extra time, winning 15 to 13 in an 11 point game.  During a brief but poignant awards ceremony, both finalists were awarded certificates, and Song was awarded the championship belt.

For her part, Song was gracious in victory.  After receiving the belt, she told the crowd, “This is the greatest achievement of my life.”  When asked how she could possibly follow up this amazing achievement, she shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t know.  Get a PhD in math, maybe?”  For the sake of her opponents, that day could not possibly come soon enough.