By Dan Seemiller
The 51st Robo Pong St Joe Valley Tournament was once again held at the beautiful IUSB student activities center. 171 players entered the March 14/15th competition on 30 tables. Newgy Corporation (Robo Pong), Visit South Bend/Mishawaka Visitors Bureau and Butterfly were the sponsors of this years event.
Lindenwood college sent a full squad of 22 players. Mississippi college also sent a team of highly skilled players. In the rating events Mackenzie Dilley won the 900 event over Carl Baker. Staney Zhou won the 1000 event over mighty Michael Sun. Tianyi Liu took the 1100 over Michael Sun again. Good Job Michael! 1300 went to Carlos Morantes over Dan Taylor. In the 1400's, Rick Carmean over SBTTC's Aaron Freel. 1475 and 1575 were won by South Bend's rising junior star Dion Payne Miller. Aaron Waggoner and Albert Lai were the losing finalists. The 1675 was won by Alex Uganski over SB member Kan Wang. 1775 was won by John Oros over 1675 winner Alex Uganski. Tadao Inui won 3 events 1800, 1900, 2000. His beaten finalists were John Oros, Alfredo Baez, and Marc Villanueva. Ejaz Shah won the 1950s over Sylverster Sobota. In the 2100 it was David Cabrera over Leidy Handoko. 2200 was won by Yang Shoujie over Cabrera. In the 2300 Randy Seemiller wins over 2550 winner Ahmed Hendawi. Randy also won the over 40's over David Sakai. Joe Cochran won the 2450 over Lester Lee. Ladislav Sranko won the over 50 over Tom Dannenfelser.
In the open singles Mark Hazinski, 9 time winner of this tournament, fought off 4 match points in the semi final against Cheng Li. Yi Chi Zhang defeated top seed Yu Gu 11-9 in the 7th in the other semi final. Yi Chi Zhang dominated the open final against Mark 4-0 to win this years championship.
In the women's singles Yu Gu won over Yin Lu 3-0. Open doubles went to Felipe Morita/ Alex Legaria who upset Seemiller/Hazinski saving 3 match points, and defeated Cheng Li/Tong Zhang in the final.
In the youth events it was TianMing Xie in the under 18s, David Sun in the 15s, and Soham Kotnis.
In the hardbat final it was Joey Cochran 2-0 over Dan Seemiller Jr.
U 900- M Dilley def C. Baker
U1000 Stanley Zhou def Michael Sun
U1100 Tianyi Liu def Michael Sun
U1300 Carlos Morantes def Dan Taylor
U1400 Rick Carmean def Aaron Freel
U1475 Dion Payne Miller def Aaron Waggoner
U1575 Dion Payne Miller def Albert Li
U1675 Alex Uganski def Kan Wang
U1775 John Oros def Alex Uganski
U1800 Tadao Inui def John Oros
U1900 Tadao Inui def Alfredo Baez
U1950 Ejaz Shah def. Sylvester Sobota
U2000 Tadao Inui def Marc Villenueva
U2100 David Cabrera def Leidy Hadoko
U2200 Yang Shoujie def David Cabrera
U2300 Randy Seemiller def Ahmed Hendawi
U2450 Joey Cochran def Lester Lee
U2550 Ahmed Hendawi def Joey Cochran
U13- Soham Kotnis
U15- David Sun
U18- Tianming Xie
Open Doubles - Legaria/Morita def Li/Zhang
Hardbat- Joey Cochran def Dan Seemiller Jr
O40 Randy Seemiller def Dave Sakai
O50 Ladislov Sranko def Tom Dannefelser
Open Singles- Yi Chi Zhang def Mark Hazinski