Table Tennis Club creates fear in the hearts of opponents

Sam Benjamin

The Table Tennis Club has continued its winning ways, bringing joy and pride to SaddleBrooke. The label dynasty is beginning to make the rounds of the statewide community and could go national. We are attracting many new and enthusiastic members, most recently augmented by our successful presentation at the Activities Fair in January. Kudos go to our members who participated in the Fair, including Eileen Sedgwick, Barbara Van Brunt, Beverly Rich, Gunter Pawlowski, Chris Borden and yours truly.

Our club has competed in several important tournaments as well as a friendly ones. The first was an incredible match with our erstwhile rivals, Robson Sun Lakes in Phoenix on December 19, 2014. Avenging our previous heartbreaking loss, we prevailed this time in a close match, earning their admiration and respect. Never underestimate SaddleBrooke!

Our next competition was at the Tucson Senior Olympic Games on January 30 at the Armory Senior Center. We had the privilege of having Gunter Pawlowski, a nationally ranked player in the past, as our coach and sports psychologist. As a result of his esteemed presence, no one was surprised or aghast at our results. The tournament placed players in five year age groupings starting at age fifty. The big winners were our lovely ladies, exhibiting great skill as well as undeniable and enviable pulchritude. Gold medal winners were Beverly Rich and Eileen Sedgwick in Women’s Doubles, Eileen Sedgwick in Mixed Doubles, and Beverly Rich in Women’s Singles. Beverly also earned a Silver medal in Mixed Doubles and Eileen earned Silver in Women’s Singles. Our formidable men’s team, rolling over the competition, produced multiple winners as well. Ed Mandler demolished all comers, garnering Gold medals in Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles. Greg Hlushko decimated his division, winning Gold in the Men’s Singles. Tom Sacra, a seasoned and canny veteran, took Bronze in the Men’s Singles.

Our most recent competitive tournament was held in Sierra Vista in early February. Competition was fierce but the excellent buffet lunch was too tempting for some of the entrants, affecting their results adversely due to their more than full stomachs. Greg Hlushko exercised supreme self-control at the dining table to achieve two more Gold medals to add to his massive collection in the 1600 Singles Division and 1600 Doubles Division. Tom Sacra, pairing with Greg in the Doubles, also participated in the devastation of their opponents and Tom gained another gold.

Last, but not least, we had a friendly competition with the strong, but magnanimous, Fairfield La Cholla Hills Club on January 18, 2015. Our team won the match 10 to 8 in a true thriller. Their club consisted of wonderful and generous hosts and quite a few talented players. We plan to play them annually and increase the number of friendlies with other clubs in the future.

Come and join the fun for all levels of players. We have several trainers and a robot machine to practice on. Our schedule of play can be found at