(By Andre Stoner)
Dion Payne-Miller and Marty Stoner, two South Bend juniors, battled it out in the final of the 2200 event at the Robo-Pong St. Joe Valley Open Table Tennis Tournament on Sunday. The two have been playing together for five years under the coaching of Dan Seemiller. They have been friends since kindergarten. They compete every Thursday at the South Bend Table Tennis Club league night, but this is the first time they have ever come up against each other in the finals of a regional tournament. Payne-Miller was on fire and won the match 3-0.
Other local winners were Ronnie Coleman, who placed 2nd in the 1800 event and Ferit Akova who took 3rd in the 1750. Stoner took 3rd in the 18 years and under event. Dominique Clark took 3rd in the 2000 and 1750 events. Coach Seemiller and his brother Randy, from Pittsburgh, took second in the Open Doubles. Payne Miller and Stoner teamed up to take third in the Open Doubles.
The tournament drew 125 players from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma. This was the 55th annual St Joe Valley Tournament sponsored by the South Bend Table Tennis Club. The tournament received support from Visit South Bend/ Mishawaka.
Result can be found here
Photo caption: Dion Payne-Miller (left) and Marty Stoner took first and second in the 2200 event at the St. Joseph Valley Open Table Tennis Tournament.