Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 20, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
10-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, Fibruary 20, 1975 Alberta wins first matches but gold looks long way away Coach sees bronze as target By CLARKE HUNTER Herald Sports Writer TABER Alberta took its first three matches Wednes- day as the table tennis com- petitions got under way at Taber's W. R. Myers High School but the Alberta coach has no illusions about any gold medals in the near future. "Ontario and Quebec should take the top two says coach Hugh Arndt. "What we're hoping for is a he adds. "But we'll have to beat British Columbia and Manitoba for it." The six member Alberta squad, which includes Debbie Toth of Picture Butte, dumped Saskatchewan 15-5, took Newfoundland 17-3, and then blitzed the Yukon 20-0 in the first three rounds of'a 12- team round robin tour- nament. Matches feature nine men's and nine women's singles sets, along with one doubles set in each division, making a total of 20. Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia also went undefeated in their first three matches, while Manitoba won its first two before being upset 11-9 by Prince Edward Island. Ontario bombed New Brunswick 16-4, and then shutout Yukon and Northwest Territories by 20-0 counts. Quebec had it a little tougher, downing Prince Edward Island !5-5 and New Brunswick 13-7 before taking NEWFOUNDLAND'S SIEW-PUN CHU CHASES BALL IN FIRST-DAY MATCH BILL GROENEN, RICK EHVIN photo Northwest Territories 20-0. British Columbia bested Nova Scotia 19-1 and Yukon 20-0 while New Brunswick fell 16-4 to the West Coast province. Alberta had two relatively easy opponents in its first two rounds today, facing N.W.T. Brunswick. But to- day they get their first real test when they meet Manitoba beginning at 6 p.m. at W. R. Myers. Alberta's top individuals in the first day .of action were Richard Mah and Judy Mack. Mah won all nine of his singles sets as well as combin- ing with team-mate Walter Schoenberger for three doubles wins in the men's division. Mack performed an iden- tical feat in the women's com- petition. Picture Butte's Miss Toth did not fare quite so well, winning five of her nine singles sets and combining with Mack for one doubles vic- tory. But then, she is just 14 years old one of the youngest competitors in the sport at the Games. She earned her position on the Alberta team by making the top three in a series of trial tournaments, the final one being a round robin af- fair in Calgary last November. "I just play at home, she says when asked where she developed her talents. That comment illustrates precisely the reason coach Arndt cites for the expected dominance of the sport by Quebec and Ontario. "Their players are more ex- he said Wednesday, "because they have better coaches." "This is the first year that Alberta has had a coaching system at he adds. "But you can already see the results that it is bringing." Table tennis action con- tinues today, with the round Saskatchewan robin tournament running New Brunswick through Friday and winding up with the final two rounds Saturday. w LPU 306 3 0 Ontario....................3 o Quebec....................3 o 6 Manitoba ..................2 l 4 P.E.I......................2 I 4 Nova Scotia................i 22 ......1 2 2 ......030 Newfoundland.......'.......0 3 o N.W.T.....................o 3 0 Yukon.....................o 3 0 What happened to the nice comfortable parlor game? The sport of table tennis took on a new dimension for Southern Alberta sports fans Wednesday when the Games competition opened in Taber. Far more than the parlor game many people consider it to be, the talented Games athletes showed incredible speed and agility during the first day of competition. Above is the scene at W. R. Myers High School where the competition is being held. Right, players Wade Gergory of P.E.I, and Laurel Rowledge of Nova Scotia. Ping pong powerful Ontario to N.W.T. rookies By LARRY TUCKER The Canadian Press Mention "ping pong" at Taber Winter Games venue and you are apt to get paddled. Especially if a member of one of the 12 com- peting table tennis teams is within hearing distance. Then .again, you might be more likely to get "raqueted" explained Hugh Kelly of Ot- tawa, one of the managers of the Ontario team which is favored to repeat its games championship of 1971. The consensus at the W. R. Myers High School, where all table tennis games will be played, is Ontario's toughest competition will come from Quebec, the silver medallists in 1971. Manitoba is the early favorite to finish third. "We've got a strong Kelly said of his players: Diane O'Hara, 18, Gloria Nesukaitis, 13, Susan Tomkins, 15, Mike Jovanow, 20, and Victor Skujins, 16, all of Toronto, and Peter Shanahan, 17, of Burlington. Gloria is sister of Violet Nesukaitis of Canada's National Team. "Quebec also has a strong men's team. We know them from tournament Kelly said. "But I think our women's team is a bit stronger and that should make the difference." There's no question that the six member group from the Northwest Territories is lear- ning. They started learning things the night before the competition got under way. The first thing they had to do was learn one another's game. Rod Stirling and Bill MacPherson, both 16, are from Yellowknife. The other male member of the N.W.T. team is Jose Arrctk, 17, of Frobisher. The thrtt Dorris Enzoe, 16, Theresa Abel, 16, and -Mary Rose Catholique, 14, are from Snowdrift. When they got to Lethbridge Tuesday, introduc- tions were in order since they'd never been together as a group before. "It's been quite an ex- perience for said Jan Buist, the N.W.T. coach. "When you get up against players like the ones from On- tario or Quebec you see what can be done, it's just difficult to practise what you've seen." As for competitive ex- perience, the girls had never played ping pong make that table tennis before Christ- mas. "We went to the cabaret in the athletes' village in Lethbridge last night and the kids were just said Buist. "It's the first time they've seen anything like that." It's also the first time that either Enzoe or Abe! have been out of the N.W.T. They've stayed close to Snowdrift, about 800 miles northeast of Edmonton, all their young lives. But Wednesday was a special day for the kids from down north. They had a ban- quet to attend after the day's competition which served as quite a party for Theresa Abel, celebrating her 16th birthday a long way from home.