Broadbent, Patterson Size Up Nation's Best
Broadbent went 2-2 in four matches, defeating both Patterson and Dartmouth frontman Ryan Donnegan. Patterson also turned in an encouraging showing, finishing with a 1-2 mark competing amongst sixteen of the top collegiate players in the country. Other than the intrasquad matchup, Broadbent and Patterson’s only losses came to players from defending national champion Trinity.
The Price-Bullington is the longest running independent collegiate tournament in the country, and is an invitation-only affair. Fifteen of the top collegiate players in the country are invited to compete, and a sixteenth player earns a spot by winning a qualifying event locally in Virginia. Currently, Harvard’s top three players are Broadbent, junior James Bullock and Patterson, respectively, but Bullock was unable to attend due to an academic commitment.
“It is a fun tournament, as a lot of colleges send their top players so we play for a bit of early-season pride,” Patterson said.
In the opening round of 16, both Patterson and Broadbent received tough draws, with Patterson facing Trinity sophomore Regardt Schonborn and Broadbent matching up against Donnegan.
Schonborn, who eventually reached the tournament final, defeated Patterson 3-0. Schonborn was a relative unknown, as he had not played much last year for the Bantams due to a mid-year matriculation, but he provided a tangible example of Trinity’s enormous power and depth.
“I’m usually a pretty steady player,” Patterson said. “But I hadn’t seen him before, and he really threw me off my game a little bit.”
Patterson then went on to the consolation bracket, playing the local Virginia qualifier and winning by a score of 3-1.
In his opening contest, Broadbent won an incredibly tight match in four games against Donnegan, going 2-1 in tiebreaker games alone. The entire match was close until Broadbent wore out the Dartmouth sophomore down the stretch, winning the final game by a score of 15-8.
In the round of eight, Broadbent lost to the defending intercollegiate national champion, Trinity sophomore Bernardo Samper by a tally of 3-0, despite staying relatively close in all three games. The loss relegated Broadbent to the consolation bracket, where he defeated Patterson and then lost to Trinity senior Nickolas Kyme in five games. Broadbent led 2-0, but, perhaps fatiguing in his fourth collegiate match in two days, lost the final three games.
“The tournament was a really exciting experience for me,” Broadbent said. “It was a good chance to play against the top collegiate players in the country for the first time. I thought I played pretty well.”
Broadbent is certainly no stranger to playing against top talent, as he trained with current United States national champion Damian Walker for the past couple of years at the Greenwich Field Club in Broadbent’s home town of Greenwich, Connecticut. According to Patterson, three aspects of Broadbent’s game make him uniquely difficult to play.
“Broadbent is very technically sound and he seldom makes errors,” Patterson said. “Secondly, he has so much experience that he knows exactly where to put the ball for a winner, and finally he is so tall (6’4) that he is very awkward to play.”
On Sunday, Yale freshman Julian Illingworth eventually beat out Schonborn for the Price-Bullington crown. Ironically, he also won the Under-19 national championships in March by defeating Broadbent in the final. When asked about the matchup against Yale, Broadbent was judicious, yet eager for revenge.
“I am certainly looking forward to the matchup against Yale,” Broadbent said.