Liberty Table Tennis Arrives

By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chair
Stephen Kilpatrick watched with interest Friday as table tennis stars from Pillar College in New Jersey battled the University of Michigan Wolverines in doubles.
The Liberty University table tennis coach, Kilpatrick is working hard to build his program's brand in Virginia. It's Liberty's second year back at the NCTTA national championships in only their third season.
Just being at the games in Eau Claire, Wisconsin took some doing for Liberty. Due to storms pounding the Mid-Atlantic, there was a 15-hour delay getting on the airplane in Charlotte for the Liberty contingent. The plane didn't take off for Minneapolis until 12:15 a,m, and the Liberty players and coach finally arrived at 5 a.m. in Eau Claire with the NCTTA tournament to start four hours later Friday morning. There was practically no time to sleep.
Adrenaline and lots of coffee helped Kilpatrick get through it. The former Gordon College basketball player is a Liberty physics professor. He loves table tennis so that helped, too.
"The table tennis future is bright at Liberty. We will definitely be back next year and continue to get visibility,'' Kilpatrick says.
With 100,000 students, including many nationwide taking classes on-line, Liberty University is no longer a small private school that Rev. Jerry Falwell founded in 1971. It's a big institution going big-time in athletics. Now an independent, Liberty opens its 2017 football season against Baylor this fall. Liberty played Virginia Tech last season.
While it doesn't have a huge budget like football, table tennis is stepping things up on the Liberty campus. "We are trying to build our program and go to the NCTTA Regionals every year,'' Kilpatrick says.
The tall Liberty coach comes from a table tennis family. His dad was a junior state champion in table tennis in Massachusetts. The dad got the son interested in the Olympic sport.In year three, Liberty competes against teams like William & Mary and Virginia Tech at NCTTA tournaments. Its Liberty roster consists of  three coed teams and a women's squad. Interest in athletics is definitely growing at the private institution, home to 30 club sports.
A few cups of coffee later on April 7 Kilpatrick remains in his element at the NCTTA's biggest tournament of the year. The action at the McPhee Center on the Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus ends Sunday.

The 2017 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Eau Claire CVB and is one of the premier table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Men’s/Coed Teams, Women’s Teams.  The event is sponsored by TMS International, Gerflor, Double Fish

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the TMS College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 7th and continues through Sunday April 9th. 


The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America.

About USA Table Tennis

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).