(By: USA Table Tennis)
America’s U-15 Team Goes Seven for Seven in the Battle for Gold in the Highlands of Ecuador
(Colorado Springs, CO – September 2, 2022) – The U-15 Team representing the United States of America at the Pan Am Cadet Championships last week in Ecuador, returned to America with as much gold as the ITTF tournament offered, sweeping all seven events in the highlands of Cuenca.
The week long tournament started with the US claiming Gold in the Boys’ Team Event by knocking off the two top ranked teams, which included a 3-1 win over the Number Two-ranked Brazilian squad on the way to claiming one of the four spots available in the knock out round where the US proceeded to sweep the host country’s entry and advance the Gold Medal Finals against the Number One-ranked Boys’ Team in the Event, Puerto Rico.
Daniel Tran opened that match with a dominating 3-0 win over Puerto Rico’s Steven Moreno, who was only able to capture eight total points in the three games played. After Darryl Tsao took a hard-fought loss to Enrique Rios in the second match, Andrew Yang bounced back to give the US a 2-1 lead after a hard-fought back-and-forth battle against Yadier Lopez. In what proved to be the deciding match in the battle for Gold, Daniel Tran won his second match of the Finals, knocking off Enrique Rios, which included a dramatic 11-9 win in the decisive Game Four, to take the Boys’ Team Event.
In the Girls Team Event, the Number One-ranked US Team lived up to their advance billing, storming through the Group Stage matches against Peru and Puerto Rico to advance to the Semi-Finals against a tough Brazilian squad who had the US team on the ropes, down two matches to one, before America’s Sally Moyland and Rachel Wang bounced back to lead the US to a dramatic 3-2 come-from-behind win. In the Gold Medal Finals, it was more of Moyland and Wang as they combined for the three wins – two of them by Sally – necessary for the US to knock off the home-town favorite Ecuadorian team and win the Girls’ Team Event.
In the Mixed Doubles, the powerhouse duo of Daniel Tran and Sally Moyland exacted revenge in the Gold Medal Finals against a pair from Ecuador, Joshua Robayo and Angelica Arellano, who had knocked off the other American duo of Darryl Tsao and Rachel Wang in the Semi-Finals to prevent an all-American Final.
The tournament’s attention in the latter days turned towards the Boys’ and Girls’ Singles and Doubles Events where the dominance of the young team from the US continued in full swing. In Girls’ Doubles, it was Moyland and Wang again, teaming up to take home the hardware losing only three games in the four matches it took to win Gold, which they capped off with a 3-1 win in the Finals over the highly touted Brazilian team of Karina Shiray and Lana Namie Kano Ozecki.
In the Boys’ Doubles, the team of Darryl Tsao and Daniel Tran was even more impressive, losing just two games in the four matches it took to win Gold. The last two of those matches were against teams from our neighbors to the north, including a 3-1 win in the Gold Medal Final over the team of Jason Louie and Zelin Ye from Canada.
Not surprisingly for anyone who watched her performance in this summer’s US Nationals, the Girls’ Singles was dominated by northern California’s Sally Moyland, who lost only one game in the five matches it took for her to claim individual Gold. Moyland got to the Finals by defeating teammate Rachel Wang, who also had an exceptional tournament. In the Finals, Sally faced the Dominican Republic’s Shary Munoz, who to her credit did in fact win a game from Sally (9-11 in the second), but that would be all, as Sally closed out her tournament with 11-5 and 11-6 wins in Games Three and Four to take what was her personal fourth Gold Medal of the tournament.
In the Boys’ Singles, it was Texan Daniel Tran who would claim the Gold, albeit in what seemed to be a more challenging sequence of matches which included a five-game see-saw win over Brazil’s Davi Koji Fujii, the first three games of which went into extra points (13-11, 10-12, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5). In the Gold Medal Finals, Tran faced the player from Puerto Rico who is fast proving to be Tran’s arch nemesis, Enrique Rios. Those two actually kicked off the Boys’ Singles Event against one another with Tran taking the first round match in an epic battle (13-15, 15-13, 11-6, 12-10). In the Finals, it was more of the same with Tran dropping the first game (6-11) only to battle back (11-5, 11-8, 11-8) and grab his fourth Gold Medal of the tournament, as well.
Congratulations to the entire Team USA U-15 squad – including the coaches and support staff – who represented our country with such great performance in the beautiful city of Cuenca.
(Full article at USA Table Tennis)
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