Travel Issues Impact Table Tennis Tournament

By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chair
Storms, cancelled flights and weary travelers seem to be par for the course when the NCTTA's biggest tournament of the year rolls around.
It's the case once again in Eau Claire, Wisconsin at the NCTTA championships April 7-9. Some college players drove all the way from Toronto, while others from New York were on the road for many hours, too. But for players from nearby schools like Minnesota and Wisconsin, the trip to the Chippewa Valley was a breeze.
Yale sophomore Angus Fong, 20, of Hong Kong was pretty smart about his journey to Eau Claire in north Wisconsin. "I left enough buffer time,'' said the cognitive science major. Flying from New York to Chicago went well until one of his Chicago flights got cancelled. But he still made it to Eau Claire, and that's the main thing. It was a 12-hour journey. At the tournament, Angus gives it his best shot at men's singles competition. Fong also brought his computer to keep up with his studies at the Ivy League school in New Haven, Connecticut.
Nearby, in the hotel lobby at the Clarion hotel, the University of Maryland coach reported no major issues getting here as he downed a cup of coffee.
As far as the distance, University of  California- San Diego player Andrew Shehata, 23, said his 7-hour trip went fairly smoothly. A five hour flight to Minneapolis and a two-hour drive to Eau Claire was his route. "It was all perfect.''
Two years ago at the same University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire venue, the UC-San Diego team finished in 14th place. This year his school hopes to do even better.
The championships will wrap up Andrew's NCTTA career (he's played 4 years). The Orange County, California senior  returns to school next fall to on his college degree.
Eau Claire bound, the University of British Columbia-Vancouver arrived with a women's team and its coed squad. It was a 3-hour flight from Canada to Minneapolis and a ninety minute drive to Eau Claire. "Everything went well. So far, so good,'' said Chandra Madhosingh,an NCTTA volunteer umpire and the team's coaching director. Five women and two men from UBC joined the astrophysics professor as they hopped about the NCTTA shuttle bus. It was going to the tournament venue, the McPhee Center. The games began Friday morning.
Northeastern University player Michael Wang, 20, of Boston, voiced no complaints about his trip.
"Travel was smooth as planned,'' said Wang, a computer science major. He and other members of the Northeastern Huskies team flew from Boston to Minneapolis and drove the rest of the way in a rental vehicle to Eau Claire. Their seven-hour trip was all good. The weather in Wisconsin was chilly and windy. But that's what the students experience in New England this time of year in early April.
For Michael Wang, it's his first time playing at the NCTTA nationals, and he seemed rested after catching a quick breakfast at the hotel.
Players from other colleges seemed a bit sleep-deprived as they headed to the competition in Wisconsin Friday morning with energy snacks, orange juice, coffee, and water.
One of the SUNY at Stony Brook Seawolves players, Sho Miyazaki, 21, of Queens, New York, will appear at his first and final NCTTA nationals. Sho graduates with a degree in biology in May. "I'm very excited. It's like the Senior Ball for me,'' Sho said with a smile. Post-graduation plans? He starts working, but promises to keep playing his favorite Olympic sport in metro New York at places like the Westchester Table Tennis Center. "I love the sport.''

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).