Estee Ackerman, a sixth grader at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County in West Hempstead, won the silver medal at the 2012 U.S. Nationals Table Tennis Championships in the under 1700 rating event held Dec. 16 to 22 at the Las Vegas convention center.
In the very exciting back and forth semi-finals at two games all, she trailed 2-5 in the pivotal fifth game, when her coach and international star Biba Golic called a very timely time out. She seemed to calm Estee and got her focus back, as she then won the game 11-7 and match 3-2. In the finals, she lost 3-1 to Benjamin Lam of CA.
In the under 1600 rating event she advanced to the round of 16, when she had a “Shabbos over Sports” moment, as the next match was to take place Friday night. Instead of playing, she had to withdraw from the event as tournament officials would not reschedule it for after shabbos.
In the under 1800’s she lost 3 games to 2, 11-9 in the fifth in the round of 16 in a very close match. Ackerman is sponsored by the Killerspin Table Tennis Company, who provided her with support and encouragement during the events.
Her brother Akiva, a ninth grader at DRS high school in Woodmere, also competed in eight events, with his best results coming in the under 4200 rating doubles event, where he and partner Sharon Alguetti (#1 ranked 10-year-old in Israel) now living in New Jersey, lost 3-2 in the quarterfinals.
The Ackermans were the only Orthodox players out of the over 800 who came from all over the country for the event. They were hosted by Rabbi Mendy Levine of the Ahavas Torah Center in Henderson, Nevada.