2016 Badger Open: Lindenwood Causes Big Upset in Open Doubles
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2016 Butterfly Badger Open: Lindenwood Causes Big Upset in Open Doubles

2016 Butterfly Badger Open: Lindenwood Causes Big Upset in Open Doubles

by Barbara Wei

The upset of the tournament occurred in the Open Doubles event on the second day of play at the 2016 Butterfly Badger Open. In the semi-final stage, the Lindenwood University team of Danny Dulkin and Santiago Sevilla faced heavy favorites and top seeds Jishan Liang and Yutian Wang. At first, the match proceeded as expected with Liang/Wang taking an early 3-1 lead in the best of 7 game encounter. However, Dulkin/Sevilla maintained their fighting spirit and continued to pressure Liang/Wang. After taking two games and with the match tied at 3 games apiece, all eyes at the Badger Open were on this semi-final match.

Sevilla/Dulkin opened the 7th game with two extremely impressive down the line blocks to take a 2-0 lead. The Lindenwood pair maintained their lead throughout the match until Liang/Wang finally tied the game at 9-9. At this crucial moment, Wang served a dead ball to Sevilla who fearlessly flip killed it to Liang’s forehand. Caught off guard by such a quick shot, Liang was not able to return it. Now at 10-9 and with first match point for Lindenwood, Wang tried to serve heavy under but the serve went long and again Sevilla ripped a forehand loop into Liang’s backhand to cause the biggest upset of 2016 Badger Open.

The 8th seeded Lindenwood team of Dulkin/Sevilla moved on to the Open Doubles finals where they faced fellow collegiate table tennis players Qingwei Sun and Tong Zhang from Mississippi College. Sun/Zhang had only dropped 3 games en-route to the final and continued their dominance by clinching the title over Dulkin/Sevilla 4-1.

Although having to settle for second place, Dulkin/Sevilla have much to be proud of in their doubles performance and will surely be a threat to other teams in future competitions.

Continual coverage of the Butterfly Badger Open and stories about the athletes will be available at ButterflyOnline.com, or via Butterfly North America’s Twitter and Facebook pages. For Live Stream Archive, Photos, & Results click here.

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