The 2018 West Coast Teams took place at a great venue, the Siliman Center in Newark on Thanksgiving weekend. There were 4 divisions with teams grouped with other teams of similar levels. Teams started play with crossovers with a chance to move up or down a division. All teams ended up staying in their seeded divisions. Then lots of team play took place over two days. The top 4 finishers in each division won trophies as well as prize money ($1,000 total in Division 1) and Xiom gift certificates ($600 total). I was happy to hear that most players had a blast this tournament so I may do a team tournament bi-annually with another one in May.
In Division 1, Lets Go (Ashwin Sankuratri, Samarth Ramesh, Raghav Thiruvallur) was the top seed and lost to ZTZ (Henrik Zhang, Faith Tung) in the group stage. The top 4 teams would make the playoffs. There was a 3-way tie to determine which teams made the playoffs and JaiHo unfortunately finished 5th so was just left out. The Pong Pingers and WCTTA 1 made the semis and finished 3rd after bowing out to the top two seeds. In the final, Lets Go got its revenge on ZTZ and won a close, thrilling 3-2 match to become Division 1 Champions.
In Division 2, Panthers (Bhavesh Kumar, Bhushan Vaze, Neel Dhavali) were the top seeds and did well during the first day of play. However, Bhushan was not able to make the second day and Neel Dhavali had a week away from practice so they ended up finishing 3rd. One impressive feat was Bhavesh Kumar going undefeated in Division 2. Ball Crackers (Sayan Dey, Dheeraj Tallapragada) won the finals over Hyperloop (Ritvik Sinha, Yajat Sharma). These 4 have racked a considerable amount of trophies over the past 1 year.
Division 3 featured a mixture of adult players and upcoming kids with Champions in Training (Saatwik Muthukumar, Aarush Bhutkar) coming out on top 3-0 over Elephants (Priyanshu Ghosh, Nirad Kanada) in the final. Both Saatwik (age 11) and Aarush (age 9) are in the Fremont Table Tennis Academy Champions in Training program where they do 3 weekly lessons and play Sunday league.
This division featured more entry-level play where all players were playing their first team tournament. All teams played each other twice and the star performer was Chris Hazell who went undefeated in Division 4. He also nearly impressively won in the crossover match against Division 3. Chris and teammate Anirudha Das with team name Momentum coasted to the title with a 3-0 finals win over Table Tennis Rockstars (Darsh Patil, Jayden Peterson).