Table Tennis Stars Battle for Men’s Singles Crown in Greensboro

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chair

Kunal Chodri remains one of the outstanding table tennis players from the University of California-Davis. The 19-year-old sophomore will battle stellar competitors from schools like Pillar College, NYU, Texas Wesleyan University and Mississippi College as they bid to take home the men’s singles trophy.

A managerial economics major at Cal-Davis, Chodri is part of an impressive field of players who will showcase their talents at the 2019 NCTTA national championships.

Shots hitting the edge of tables or barely creeping over the nets could decide the outcome of the games in Greensboro, North Carolina. Set for April 12-14, the tournament is drawing about 275 of the best collegiate players in the USA and Canada.

Kunal brings a good touch and ball control with paddle in hand. “Much of his talent is due to years of hard work and experience as a junior cadet team member,’’ said UC Davis table tennis coach Danny Yip. The Fremont, California resident qualified for the 2017 U.S. men’s team when he defeated Kanak Jha in the finals on the second day of qualification.

Fans at the 2018 NCTTA championships in Round Rock, Texas may recall Kunal Chodri defeated standouts like Kai Zhang of SUNY-Binghampton, Jinxin Wang of Texas Wesleyan and Adar Alguetti of NYU during coed team competition.

Zhang will miss the games in Greensboro (as he is taking a year off) but aces from other schools will pack their paddles for the NCTTA’s biggest tournament of the season.

More recently, Kunal performed well during the 2019 PanAm trials despite being a full-time student at UC Davis. “That’s no easy feat,’’ Coach Yip said. “I can’t wait to see this gentle giant compete at the NCTTA collegiate championships in Greensboro.’’

Kunal Chodri is the best player at a California school that’s a relative newcomer in collegiate table tennis. UC Davis first visited Nationals in 2006 when its coed team played. A couple of UC Davis singles players participated in the 2015 national championships in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The UC Davis women’s team placed 7th at the 2017 nationals. The coed team landed in 7th place at the 2018 championships.

“Our table tennis club is constantly developing and expanding in recent years,’’ Coach Yip explained. “You will likely see us more in future years.’’

Gazing at the top ten of men’s singles competitors, NCTTA President Willy Leparulo sees a strong field.

“With representatives from Pillar College, NYU, Texas Wesleyan, and Mississippi College, there are some pretty familiar schools with standout players competing,’’ Leparulo said. “One of the relative newcomers to watch is UC Davis. We look forward to some spirited games in Greensboro, North Carolina.’’

Adar Alguetti is a sharp table tennis player, but also a bright student at New York University. Majoring in accounting and finance, the Tenafly, New Jersey resident is on track to graduate in the summer of 2021.

But first and foremost is turning in solid performances in singles and scoring triumphs with his NYU teammates. NYU captured the 2018 coed national title by beating perennial champ Texas Wesleyan Rams in the finals in Round Rock.

“I would say our team is stronger than last year in the sense we have more depth and can alter our roster depending on the team we play,’’ Alguetti said. “Greensboro brings back a lot of memories since it is the same venue where the (2016) Team USA Olympic Trials were held.’’

One of the dynamic members of the NYU squad returning is Yijun “Tom’’ Feng, a Team USA star at the 2016 Olympics. He’s a smart student at the prestigious university in the Big City. The 22-year-old is majoring in sports law with a minor in economics. Tom’s career plan is working for an international sports association. But now, his focus is the NCTTA championships.

Feng, who transferred to NYU after a freshman season at the University of Georgia, is ranked as the tournament’s second seed in men’s singles. He trails No. 1 seed Kaden Xu of Pillar College in New Jersey.

Others expected to join the fight for the men’s singles title are Texas Wesleyan Rams standouts like Jishan Liang and Jinxin Wang. They impressed table fans in March with their spectacular play at the NCTTA’s South Regionals on their home turf in Fort Worth.

Mississippi College players like Tomotaka “Tomo” Yoshitomi, Xiang “Ali’’ He and Qingwei Sun will also compete with paddles blazing in their quest for the 2019 men’s singles collegiate title.

For more information on the NCTTA championships and live streaming of the Greensboro games, go to nctta.org

The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro 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 iSET, Double Happiness, SPI, Greensboro CVB, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th.

About NCTTA

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. www.nctta.org

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). www.usatt.org

Fewer But Passionate Representation from Canadian Schools

Cherry Zheng

(Pic by Tae Kim of Cherry Zheng)

By Michael Reff

NCTTA Media Committee

In the past our ponging northern neighbors have frequented the nationals with a plethora of powerhouse teams. This year, there will be a sparse showing from our Canadian brethren, but they will be soundly represented in the Men’s and Women’s single’s event. Juan Liyau from Ryerson University for the men and on the women’s side in the form of two passionate players.

One such player, Cherry Zheng, graciously told this writer about her history with our favorite Olympic sport. Cherry is a third-year computer science student at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Initially she commenced her table tennis career at 8 years of age, doing it more because her father was already in love with the sport. However, as time progressed, she went from playing for the sake of her parents to partaking in pong for herself as well as the social aspect. “The table tennis community is amazing and the people play a huge part in why I love table tennis,” she says.

Cherry provides insight as to why most of her teammates won’t be making it to nationals: final exams.  UBC is one of the top universities in Canada and the world for that matter, so there is no wonder that studies considerably occupy college table tennis athletes’ time. When asked what the greatest challenge will be going into nationals in the singles event only, Cherry states, it “is the change in mindset, since it’s certainly different playing without a team and having your teammates around you at all times. I’ll miss my teammates that couldn’t come, but I’m truly happy to be able to attend the championships and represent my school!” She will be joined by one other teammate, Grace, for whom she is very grateful to have her company.

Also, in regard to preparing for the champs and the daunting long-distance trip ahead of her, she embraces it with enthusiasm. “I’m trying to squeeze in practice whenever possible! Nationals is an event that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time (probably since last nationals), and now that it’s approaching, I’m super stoked!! The trip is quite a lengthy one, with there not being any direct flight options, but I love travelling so I’m sure it’ll be a great experience!

What’s more, Canada and the USA will have equal representation in the opening ceremony, with an exciting fact. NCTTA President Willy Leparulo states, “we will have a live singer from UNC Greensboro singing [the] Canadian [anthem].” Thank you, Cherry, for making the trek to the states to represent Canada and UBC!

The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro 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 iSET, Double Happiness, SPI, Greensboro CVB, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th.

About NCTTA

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. www.nctta.org

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). www.usatt.org

 

Fewer But Passionate Representation from Canadian Schools

(Pic by Tae Kim of Cherry Zheng)

By Michael Reff

NCTTA Media Committee

In the past our ponging northern neighbors have frequented the nationals with a plethora of powerhouse teams. This year, there will be a sparse showing from our Canadian brethren, but they will be soundly represented in the Men’s and Women’s single’s event. Juan Liyau from Ryerson University for the men and on the women’s side in the form of two passionate players.

One such player, Cherry Zheng, graciously told this writer about her history with our favorite Olympic sport. Cherry is a third-year computer science student at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Initially she commenced her table tennis career at 8 years of age, doing it more because her father was already in love with the sport. However, as time progressed, she went from playing for the sake of her parents to partaking in pong for herself as well as the social aspect. “The table tennis community is amazing and the people play a huge part in why I love table tennis,” she says.

Cherry provides insight as to why most of her teammates won’t be making it to nationals: final exams.  UBC is one of the top universities in Canada and the world for that matter, so there is no wonder that studies considerably occupy college table tennis athletes’ time. When asked what the greatest challenge will be going into nationals in the singles event only, Cherry states, it “is the change in mindset, since it’s certainly different playing without a team and having your teammates around you at all times. I’ll miss my teammates that couldn’t come, but I’m truly happy to be able to attend the championships and represent my school!” She will be joined by one other teammate, Grace, for whom she is very grateful to have her company.

Also, in regard to preparing for the champs and the daunting long-distance trip ahead of her, she embraces it with enthusiasm. “I’m trying to squeeze in practice whenever possible! Nationals is an event that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time (probably since last nationals), and now that it’s approaching, I’m super stoked!! The trip is quite a lengthy one, with there not being any direct flight options, but I love travelling so I’m sure it’ll be a great experience!

What’s more, Canada and the USA will have equal representation in the opening ceremony, with an exciting fact. NCTTA President Willy Leparulo states, “we will have a live singer from UNC Greensboro singing [the] Canadian [anthem].” Thank you, Cherry, for making the trek to the states to represent Canada and UBC!

The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro 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 iSET, Double Happiness, SPI, Greensboro CVB, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th.

About NCTTA

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. www.nctta.org

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). www.usatt.org

 

Behind Every Great College TT Team is….

(Danny Yip, coach of UC Davis, featured above)

A great, hard working college table tennis coach.

Coaches in college table tennis are many times overlooked and under-appreciated, but not at the 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships. Having a coach in your corner is many times making the trip, the matches, the travel, and the experience all that much more enjoyable. Coaches in college table tennis aren’t only in charge of footwork and forehands, but also organizing the sometimes large administrative quagmire within coordinating a team or group of players at the College Table Tennis Championships.

There are many coaches at the 2019 Championships, 35 to be exact and while we can’t speak to all of them, we have chosen four to highlight today.

Meet “Johnson” Zhicheng Liang, coach of Mississippi College. “Johnson,” as he is called, was a player for Mississippi College from 2009 to 2013 and a part of that famed team (from 2015) that beat Texas Wesleyan for the first time in a decade. Johnson has a very interesting approach “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best”. Johnson, with help from staff sponsor Andy Kanengiser, keeps the Mississippi College team in check and ready to go. They are currently seeded #2 in the Championships and have a very high chance of reclaiming the title for the small school in Mississippi that yes DOES provide scholarships!

Introducing a new player/coach to the Championships, we have Eric Naranjo of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). UTSA originated from the NCTTA South Texas division, but when the division folded UTSA joined the Texas division which included powerhouses like Texas Wesleyan and UT Austin. UTSA wasn’t intimidated as they posted incredible results and part of that has to do with Coach Naranjo’s training regiment! “the players have been practicing at least 2 hours a day 5 days a week. They are also working out with weights and adding in some more cardio into their daily routine.

Coach Naranjo has worked hard on and off the court, he is still a student at UTSA and plans to hang up his coach’s hat after this season to join the team. Naranjo states, “this is the first year we have ever attended nationals and are super pumped to be able to show what a year of hard work as amounted to.” UTSA is very much a dark horse, tune in to see if they upset anyone!

Another new coach is Andrew Tan from UMass Amherst. Andrew was certified as an NCTTA College TT coach last summer in Connecticut, and NCTTA is happy to see him and his women’s team progress to the ultimate stage of college table tennis. Tan never got to play in college as a student at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, but now he is living out his playing days through the hard work of his team, “We did physical warm-ups together (never before in prior years), we had multi-ball practice (also first time ever), agility ladder drills (also another first time ever).  And we used a template FSU (thanks Willy!) for table tennis drills. We discussed tactics and strategies in our practices"

The Umass Amherst team is like a big family with several assistant coaches (Alec Slepchuck, Ariel Burman) and of course their club president Felicia Wang motivating those to attend practice.  Tan acknowledges that their chances may not be so good, but, as Tan shares, the UMass Amherst team is getting more bang for their buck through the recent division and regional experiences, “ It was a great experience and a wonderful unexpected gift for all the hard work that was put in.”

Good luck to Coach Tan and the ladies of UMass Amherst!

Last but certainly not least is Coach Danny Yip from a very popular UC Davis team. Coach Danny is what some in NCTTA circles call a college table tennis lifer. Yip has attended NCTTA college table tennis coaching training, been to Nationals 3 times, coached his beloved UC Davis team and even played for them in 2009-2012. Coach Danny has brought an interesting dynamic to the team, “My assistance is to provide video feedback to see how they could move forward with their future games.”

The UC Davis team, according to Coach Danny, has a very strong team this year and is looking to improve on their 7th place finish at last year’s nationals. Cracking the top 5 is a very real goal and with help from Coach Danny’s assistance (Multiball, conditioning, etc.) the sky's the limit!

College table tennis coaches give their time (much of it without pay) and their knowledge, heart, etc. willingly. One may think, “What are they getting out of it?” They get just as much as the team does. Coach Yip says, “UC Davis Table Tennis Club had always provided a second home for me and I am always willing to give back and train our young Aggie bloods!

Coach Tan of UMass Amherst sums it up, “little did I know that I would end up enjoying the sport, getting NCTTA certified in the summer of 2018 and coaching UMass Amherst.  God had a sense of humor and I am thankful.

Thank you to all NCTTA coaches, for your work is not overlooked and you are not underappreciated at our event!

The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro 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 iSET, Double Happiness, SPI, Greensboro CVB, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th. 

About NCTTA

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. www.nctta.org

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). www.usatt.org

Outstanding Women Compete for Collegiate Table Tennis Singles Trophy

(Pictured above Wenting Zha, picture by Grant Bergmann)

By Andy Kanengiser

Standout table tennis players from Texas Wesleyan University dominate the action at the national collegiate championships from one year to the next.

One sharp Texas Wesleyan student-athlete with her eye set on capturing the women’s singles title is Wenting Zha.

Texas Wesleyan coach Jasna Rather is a big believer in the strengths that Wenting brings to the table when she plays her favorite sport.

No doubt, Wenting ranks as “one of the best female athletes this year,’’ Rather says of the talented Rams player. “Despite her level of play and achievements, she is very humble. She has a very fast and precise game that is not easy for an opponent to stop her.’’

Wenting Zha impresses table tennis fans as a smart player who takes a serious approach to developing her game. She’s got plenty of smarts in college classrooms, too. Wenting will soon finish work on her MBA. That business degree will open up career doors for her, Coach Rather said.

Last April, Texas Wesleyan’s Yue Wu became the 8th Lady Ram to win the women’s singles title at the 2018 iSet College Table Tennis National Championships. The games were played in Round Rock, Texas near Austin. Jennifer Yue Wu became the first Texas Wesleyan University women’s player to win that title since Sara Hazinski in 2011.

Now, observers predict Wenting Zha stands a very good chance of capturing the women’s singles title at the 2019 championships.  The NCTTA’s biggest tournament of the year runs from April 12-14 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Wenting showcased her excellent skills at the NCTTA South Regionals at the Sid Richardson Center at Texas Wesleyan University March 9-10. A year ago at the national championships in the Lone Star State, Wenting performed well. But Zha fell to top-seeded Lily Zhang of California-Berkeley (and Team USA fame) in women’s singles.

In the doubles final in 2018, it was an all-Texas Wesleyan shootout. Yue Wu and Wenting Zha combined to defeat Lady Rams teammates Ana Aleksandric and Edina Haracic to take home the trophy to Fort Worth.

Wenting also brings plenty of coaching experience. Wenting is among the U.S. Junior and Cadet National Team coaches. “She has a good number of years under her belt in club coaching,’’ Rather said.

Outstanding female players at other schools across the USA and Canada will put up a stiff fight for the women’s singles crown at the North Carolina tournament.

The University of California-Berkeley team has some top-notch women players. They include Angela Guan, who lost to Yue Wu in women’s singles at the 2018 nationals.

Guan, 20, a resident of San Jose, California, is a bright Cal-Berkeley data science major. The vice president of the Cal Table Tennis Club, she’s familiar with the 2019 championships venue in Greensboro. Known as a chopper, Angela competed at the 2016 USA Olympic Trials at the very same site. Returning to Greensboro, N.C. in April, Guan said, “brings back memories of my whole Olympic dream and journey, especially the Finals on the very last day which was on NBC Sports Live.’’

Guan looks forward to paddling with the California Bears team and reuniting with the NCTTA family on a national stage again.

In her 9th year of playing table tennis, Angela brings other sports skills. She did gymnastics for six years before table tennis.

Other prominent female players from the West Coast who will bring their strong table tennis skills to North Carolina will be Qiao Jiao of Ohlone College in California. Ying Wang of the University of California-Berkeley will be back to Nationals again. Ying Wang was an awesome player at Ohlone before joining Cal’s table tennis squad.

The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro 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 iSET, Double Happiness, SPI, Greensboro CVB, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th. Tickets on sale at ticket master

About NCTTA

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. www.nctta.org

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). www.usatt.org

Greensboro Leaders Welcome Collegiate Table Tennis Champs in North Carolina

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chair

People who think there’s nothing much to do besides play table tennis in Greensboro are badly mistaken.

Clearly, there’s loads of stuff to do for the NCTTA family away from the table tennis championships in that wonderful North Carolina city April 12-14.

Where to begin? Greensboro boasts at least 135 major attractions. While the table tennis games are being played on Friday, the evening time will feature a concert by country star Kenny Chesney. It’s practically next-door to the table tennis venue. The American singer-songwriter from East Tennessee is famous for hits like “When the Sun Goes Down’’ and “The Good Stuff.’’

Ok, if country music isn’t your thing, the World Championships of Irish Dancing is kicking up a storm down the street. The lively event at the Sheraton is happening the same time as 275 of North America’s best collegiate table tennis players invade Greensboro along with coaches, volunteers and fans.

If you crave other things to do, the best bet is to find out what you’re missing in Greensboro. The Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau invites visitors to download their handy city guide.

It tells folks tons of information about fun things to do. Want to escape the table tennis world for an hour or two? Check out the Greensboro Science Center. It’s jam-packed with a beautiful aquarium, museum and zoo. Take the kids! But grownups will enjoy the experience, too.

Hill Carrow of Sports & Properties, Inc. of Cary, N.C. is one of the people who worked hard to bring the NCTTA’s biggest tournament of the year to Greensboro.

It was  natural for Greensboro to be selected by the NCTTA board of directors. After all, Greensboro hosted the Team USA Olympic Trials for table tennis at fantastic facilities a few years ago. Some of the premier U.S. collegians booked at the NCTTA tournament for 2019 are delighted to return to the same fabulous venue they experienced in 2016.

Amy Scott, head of marketing for the Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau, is delighted to see hundreds of top table tennis players in her favorite city. It’s always great to host a national tournament in Greensboro, Scott says. She’s got plenty of advice at her fingertips about Greensboro, a thriving city some call Tournament Town.

“She will be glad to clue you in on the many things to do in and around Greensboro,’’ Carrow said.

But with at least 135 attractions to showcase in Greensboro, it is doubtful anybody in the NCTTA family can get to see them all (or even half) in a few days.

Perhaps, it is best to just start by enjoying a delicious North Carolina barbecue sandwich. Located off I-85, Greensboro sits 92 miles away from Charlotte or a drive of 1 hour and 27 minutes. By car, Greensboro is about 53 minutes away from Durham, home of Duke University. Duke Blue Devils players are regulars at NCTTA national championships each year.

For the all-volunteer NCTTA community, it marks their first national championship in North Carolina. In recent years, the huge collegiate tournaments have been held in Wisconsin, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. “We are eagerly looking forward to our first visit to Greensboro,’’ says NCTTA President Willy Leparulo. “We love what we are hearing about this vibrant city in North Carolina.’’

The NCTTA championships in 2020 will return to Round Rock, Texas for the third time. Round Rockers hosted the event last in 2018 and for the first time in 2016. The city, dubbed the Sports Capital of Texas, is located near booming Austin in the Lone Star State.

For more information on the NCTTA championships in Greensboro, N.C. April 12-14, go to the website nctta.org Located near the Greensboro Coliseum, the Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau can be reached at 1-336-274-2282.

The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro 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 iSET, Double Happiness, SPI, Greensboro CVB, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th. 

About NCTTA

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. www.nctta.org

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

Lone Rangers of College Table Tennis (Poetry in motion)

By Michael Reff

NCTTA Media Committee

(Deepa Bhujbal from University of Toledo featured above)

 

The Lone Rangers are back!

So you know the drill!

We’ll tell ya about them,

To hype them up still.

 

The story is this:

They play just in singles

Sometimes with no teammates

So they’ll have to mingle!

 

First is Yurong Ren,

Grad student at Pitt,

She’s played tt 16 years,

(A lot of time to commit!)

 

She’s overjoyed about playing

And she has many objectives:

Not be nervous, no regrets,

Perform well, make friends in this pong collective.

 

Next we have Mark Hendricks

Third year undergrad from Akron,

He started pong his freshman year,

In quick time turned his game on.

 

His goal for this champs is

“To try to win 1 game”

Also learn from higher opponents,

Improving’s a worthy claim.

 

Deepa Bhujbal’s a new freshman,

Uni of Toledo athlete

No stranger to pong,

In India she did compete.

 

Her goal’s to be adaptable

In this national tourney,

And also to enjoy this ultimate

Table tennis journey.

 

Zhe Feng studies in Colorado,

Fourth year PhD scholar

He excitedly watched the wild card results,

And knew he’d receive playing honor.

 

Before he’s coached a nationals player,

This time is his time to play,

He has one teammate coming,

Zhe’s goal’s to fight and have fun all day.

 

Congratulations to you lone rangers,

Make your teams and schools quite proud,

Make the most of this experience,

Fight for each point, “cho” out loud!

The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro 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 iSET, Double Happiness, SPI, Greensboro CVB, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th. Tickets on sale at ticket master

About NCTTA

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. www.nctta.org

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). www.usatt.org

 

Volunteers Boost College Table Tennis Championships

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chair

Volunteers from across the USA and Canada are a driving force helping make the NCTTA’s championships a success from one year to the next

That’s been the case when the collegiate table tennis tournaments were played in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Texas in recent years. And dozens of dedicated volunteers should shine again when they perform a variety of tasks at the 2019 championships. The games are set for Greensboro, North Carolina April 12-14.

“Volunteers are the meat and potatoes of the NCTTA family all season, but that’s especially true when the national championship games arrive,’’ said NCTTA President Willy Leparulo.

Whether they operate video cameras to live stream the marathon of games, umpire key matches, manage practice areas or work registration tables, volunteers tackle many tasks. “They arrive early and stay late,’’ Leparulo said. “And usually, the do so with smiles on their faces. We can’t say enough nice things about our volunteers. Each day, they are valuable from start to finish.’’

With the championships attracting nearly 300 of the best collegiate table tennis players in North America, volunteers pitch in to make the event run smoothly. The work stretches from setting up tables and flooring prior to the event to shuttling players from the region’s airports. Each year, about 75 volunteers lend a hand at the NCTTA’s biggest tournament of the year.

Some NCTTA volunteers like David Pech are veterans. Others like Logan Zimmerman are relative newcomers to the organization overseeing more than 150 college table tennis teams.

Active in NCTTA circles for four years, Pech grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Married to Lia, who’s a native of Panama, Pech, 56, has worked as an international table tennis umpire. He played the sport for fun in college. But his two sons are pretty good at the Olympic sport with ratings in the 2300 to 2400 vicinity.

He brings interesting skills to the table. “I have been a photographer most of my life,’’ David Pech says. But his career path suddenly changed gears. “I am now a coffee farmer in Panama. For the last four months, I have been pulling in this year’s harvest.’’

The NCTTA’s leader for more than a decade, Leparulo appreciates this year’s bumper crop of  volunteers.  A Florida State University staff member and a coach of the Noles table tennis team, Leparulo first got to know David as a player when he visited the FSU club over ten years ago.

Leparulo speaks highly of Pech as a hard working umpire who volunteers at NCTTA tournaments. “He and his family are great people for our sport. David is a strong advocate for our sport.’’

Florida’s Logan Zimmerman also stepped up his game for the NCTTA. Since the summer, he’s served on the coaching committee assisting in the development of the NCTTA’s coaching certification program. Logan will work as a volunteer four days at the 2019 Nationals.

Year-round, Zimmerman works closely with Leparulo to coach the FSU Seminoles table tennis team. That started when he began helping at practices on the Tallahassee campus.

Zimmerman and Leparulo recently joined forces to launch a new table tennis club in Florida’s capital city. Their venture received nice coverage in the media, including the “Tallahassee Democrat.’’ Logan serves as head coach of this new club. 

Growing up in San Diego, California, Logan loved other sports, like golf. He received golfing certifications through the Titleist Performance Institute and picked up an MBA in professional golf management.

Fast forward to the time his brother-in-law whipped him in table tennis matches. After that stinging setback, Logan, then living in North Carolina, began training with talented players at table tennis clubs in Raleigh. His brother-in-law got slammed the next time they played. Improving his game upon returning to San Diego, he later moved to Tallahassee to work as a state employee. His passion for table tennis got stronger in the Sunshine State.

Willy Leparulo is thrilled he moved to the Florida Panhandle and shares his passion for this amazing international sport. “Logan is a Renaissance man,’’ Leparulo said. “I am really excited he’s bringing his logistics experience to the NCTTA championships.’’

The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro 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 iSET, Double Happiness, SPI, Greensboro CVB, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th. Tickets on sale at ticket master

About NCTTA

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. www.nctta.org

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). www.usatt.org

College Teams Embrace First Trip to Table Tennis National Championships

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chair

Table tennis players at schools from California to the Midwest and deep in the heart of Texas are thrilled about advancing to the national collegiate championships.

That’s especially true for teams making their first-ever appearance at the NCTTA’s biggest tournament of the year. This time, the annual event will be staged in Greensboro, North Carolina from April 12-14.

Case in point is the University of California at Irvine. The UCI players from Southern California are talented and definitely for real as they prepare for their first trip to Nationals.  Known as the Anteaters, they proved they could play by winning the NCTTA West Regionals on March 9. UCI knocked off foes like UC Davis and Cal- Berkeley to make it to the top and punch their ticket to the 2019 Nationals.

Coach Jason Chauv is elated and so is the rest of his awesome squad at his West Coast university that enrolls nearly 30,000 undergraduates.

“Our athletes are extremely excited with the opportunity to compete on the national stage and represent UC Irvine,’’ Chauv said. “Our primary goal this coming Nationals is to have fun, meet up with old friends, and hopefully make new ones. We hope to play some good table tennis.’’

The season began for UCI with no big expectations, but just grow as a team, the coach noted. Things began to change in a hurry. UCI grabbed first-place honors in the SoCal East Fall Divisionals.

But the team didn’t rest with that one great accomplishment. UCI fared well at the next divisionals in February, including a nail biter when they defeated UC San Diego in a match going to doubles.

Topping UC Davis and Cal-Berkeley at West Regionals for UCI (in only its second appearance) was a “milestone achievement,’’ Coach Chauv said.

So who’s on the University of California-Irvine team?

The diverse squad includes three California players: Newman Cheng, 19, of Huntington Beach, Krish Avvari, 19,  and Ray Yi, 20, both of Fremont.

Making their team of standouts even more diverse are players like Hoiman Chu, 20, of Hong Kong, China, Neal Thakker, 18, of India, and Yoshitomo Matsubara, 27, of Japan.

Newman Cheng and Krish Avvari  both competed on the USA National Table Tennis Team.  Neal Thakker won the high school table tennis championship for three straight years.

If basketball success is any indication, UCI should make noise in North Carolina. The UCI hoops team advanced to the NCAA’s Big Dance and defeated Kansas State 70-64 in the tournament opener before losing to Oregon.

Also expected to make some noise in Greensboro after earning their first Nationals invite are members of the University of Illinois at Chicago team.

UIC is proud of its progress in 2018-19 in NCTTA divisionals and regionals tournaments. Players like Ali Fakhari are pumped to soon be flying to North Carolina to showcase their skills.

Traveling from the Windy City with paddles in hand to compete against the best collegiate players in North America will offer new challenges.The UIC squad also includes players like Pramod Anantha of India, Xing Li of China, Hamza Godil of Pakistan and Khang Nguyen of Vietnam.

Players like Xing Li say it’s a great honor to be invited to Nationals, especially for the first time. He points to a dedicated bunch of teammates who play their favorite Olympic sport with passion. It’s been a rewarding season of “hard work and sweat’’ for the UIC players, Li says.

The players from the Illinois metropolis are anxious to bring their best brand of table tennis down South.  “I’m so excited and proud of these guys,’’ said Ali Fakhari, the UIC team’s leader. “They’ve worked really hard to reach this huge achievement, especially while all being extremely busy students. I feel fortunate I even know these guys.’’

Equally excited about going to Nationals for their initial visit is the University of Texas at San Antonio squad. Players Leijie Qi of China, Mark Conrad, who was raised in Australia, Nicolas Alvarez of Cali, Colombia, and Deven De Leon of San Antonio, are fired up about going to Greensboro. Contributing to their success in the Lone Star State was their fever for table tennis plus the steady grind at practices.

For more information on the 2019 collegiate table tennis championships in Greensboro, North Carolina April 12-14 go to nctta.org

The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro 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 iSET, Double Happiness, SPI, Greensboro CVB, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th. Tickets on sale at ticket master

About NCTTA

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. www.nctta.org

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). www.usatt.org

International Flavors at 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships

There is a numbers game to be played with College Table Tennis. Just take a gander at our amazing display of numerical nuances for the 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships

51 Colleges/Universities

80 Men's Singles

40 Women's Singles

24 Men's/Coed Teams

16 Women's Teams

32 Men's Doubles

12 Women's Doubles

268 Athletes and Coaches

100 Volunteers

29 Countries

We are the melting pot of sports; table tennis as a whole is one of the most popular sports in the world. NCTTA, which is the governing body of college table tennis, is excited to bring to Greensboro, North Carolina a plethora of "international" flavors. We have male and female athletes from as far as Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, to European countries like Hungary and Italy, to Africa (Egypt and others), to Canada and South America and everywhere in between.  Plenty of United States players are represented from the west coast where 14 schools will make the cross country flight to even some local talent from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Duke (right down the road). 

Come check out this truly international event and amazing display of North America's best college table tennis teams and players. 

The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro 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 iSET, Double Happiness, SPI, Greensboro CVB, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th. Tickets on sale at ticket master

About NCTTA

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. www.nctta.org

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). www.usatt.org

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