Peglegs Face a Tough Season Following the Graduation of Key Players

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By Tiffany Yu

Winter has yet to start, but Stuyvesant’s girls’ varsity table tennis team, the Peglegs, is hard at work. The Peglegs have been practicing diligently in anticipation for their games this season. Having been the undefeated Division I League team for the last three years, the team is intent on continuing its winning streak. Their 12-0, 10-0, and 12-0 consecutive records in the past few seasons prove their success.

However, if the Peglegs are incapable of recuperating from the loss of last year’s seniors, it could bring those high hopes to heel. A worrisome difference between this team and the team of the past three years is the players. Last year’s seniors made up nearly all of the starters, as well as half of the actual team, for all three years that Stuyvesant has dominated the Division I League. The departure of these seniors is, undoubtedly, a huge blow. “The seniors that left the team were the core of our team. They were mentors, key players, and leaders. This year’s team, especially [junior] Katherine [Lee], [senior] Yuki [Lau], and I, have big shoes to fill,” junior and captain Allison Eng said.

This year, there are virtually no senior players in the starting lineup, with the exception of Lau. Five of the seven starting spots are going to underclassmen. However, Eng believes that this is an advantage in the long run. “One positive aspect is that our team is composed of mostly underclassmen, so even if we don't do as well as we can this year, our team has years to improve,” Eng said.

The Peglegs have fared well in the past in terms of playoffs, being 2016 PSAL Champions and consistently making semifinals and finals. However, Millennium High School, who beat them out in a close match for a place in finals last year, has become a serious contender. “Our team has honestly been stagnant over the past few years, while other teams [like Millennium] have improved over time… [Millennium’s] first singles player is training to be in the Olympics,” Eng said. A force to the reckoned with, Millennium won the first league game against the Peglegs 5-0. With a different team dynamic and underclassmen facing the pressure of bringing home the championship without the presence of many experienced upperclassmen, Millennium’s first victory over Stuyvesant may foreshadow a difficult season for the Peglegs.