Calendar of Events

Membership Discounts Ready for Purchase

Double Fish Balls

Looking to make a bulk purchase order for some balls? Why not get some Double Fish 3* balls! Double Fish is offering NCTTA school members a discounted price of $92 ($102 for Canadians due to shipping charges) for 102 balls. These premium 3* poly balls will be identical to the ones used in our NCTTA 2016-17 season, get a head start with some multi-ball training today!  To order, please click here.

USATT Membership Discounts For NCTTA Graduates

NCTTA has recently teamed with USA Table Tennis to create a special opportunity where recent NCTTA grads can take advantage of a 1-year USATT membership for 40 percent off of the regular price. Yes, you read that right 40% off. USATT membership is the best way to stay involved with table tennis after graduation. So take advantage of this great deal! Read all about it at: nctta.org/alumni. NCTTA takes care of its alumni hoping that they then will return the favor to their collegiate clubs by donating their time or money or both to keep programs and teams alive.

Check out a new promotion with USA Table Tennis where NCTTA clubs and players can get discounts! http://www.teamusa.org/usa-table-tennis/clubs/colleges

  • USATT player membership for 25 dollars for NCTTA players
  • USATT club membership for 25 dollars for NCTTA member schools

Eau Claire Wisconsin Selected to Host 2017 Collegiate Table Tennis Championships

By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chairman

More than 250 of the best collegiate table tennis players in North America will return to Eau Claire, Wisconsin for the 2017 national championships.

In early June, leaders of the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association selected Eau Claire to host the three-day tournament. The site will again be the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.

Eau Claire competed for the bid against a proposal offered to bring the games to Biloxi, Mississippi along the Gulf Coast.

“We were happy with the way that Eau Claire leaders embraced us at the 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships,’’ NCTTA President Willy Leparulo. “We look forward to being back in Wisconsin in the Spring of 2017.’’

Located about 90 minutes from Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Wisconsin university partnered with the Wisconsin-Eau Claire table tennis club to help bring volunteers to the event, Leparulo noted. “Volunteers are critical to our success at regional and national tournaments each year. We will look to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire team and neighboring schools like University of Minnesota for such help."

Ben Morgan, sports sales manager for Visit Eau Claire, is delighted to see his hometown selected. The decision brings another major sporting event to the northern Wisconsin city, and with it comes a nice economic boost, he noted. The table tennis tournament, Morgan said, pumps in an estimated $80,000 in visitor spending.

“We had great feedback from several local businesses and hotels during the 2015 championships, and we expect the same – if not more – positive feedback in 2017,’’ Morgan added.

The event organizers in Wisconsin tracked over 300 hotel rooms used by participants at the games in April 2015. That includes college table tennis players, coaches, fans, family members, and scores of volunteers. “This is a great boost for the hotels during the non-peak season,’’ Morgan said.

Visit Eau Claire officials worked well once again with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to craft an outstanding proposal to submit to the NCTTA, Morgan noted.

The NCTTA’s biggest tournament of the year has moved around the country in recent years. The 2016 national championships were held in Round Rock, Texas near Austin in late March. The 2014 championships landed in Monroeville, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. In 2013, the tournament was held in Rockford, Illinois. Plano, Texas hosted the games in April 2012.

The 2017 tournament in Wisconsin is expected to be in April. More details are expected to be announced on the NCTTA website (nctta.org) at a later date.

2016 Elections Results - New Athlete Rep

Here are the results of the voting in this year's elections for Board of Directors positions:

  • For Vice President, incumbent Joseph Wells was reelected
  • For Treasurer, incumbent Randy Kendle was reelected
  • The new Athlete Representative is Tae Kim, who received votes from more member schools than opposing candidate Ying Wang

They will each serve a 2-year term, starting July 1. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who voted!

NCTTA Superlatives 2016--"Best of the Best"

*Superlatives--best of the best*

Every year after the Championships NCTTA celebrates "the best of the best" of the year. NCTTA will award with the assistance of JOOLA, we will have $50.00 E awards given to winning Athletes of the year and $200.00 E awards given to winning school teams.

All awards will be one time use and exclude tables.

We want your input to nominate someone or some team as the best of the best.

TO NOMINATE SOMEONE  email your nomination and WHY to info@nctta.org by April 15th

Or

Post on Twitter to @collegett #bestofbest your nomination and WHY by April 15th

PLEASE FWD THIS INFO as anyone can nominate someone!

Last year's winners were:

  • 2015 Male Athlete of the Year: Feng Zhe (Texas Wesleyan)
  • 2015 Female Athlete of the Year: Lily Zhang (UC Berkeley)
  • 2015 Rookie of the Year: Tong Zhang (Mississippi College)
  • 2015 Coach of the Year: Sam Howes (University of Western Ontario)
  • 2015 Rookie Team: McGill University
  • 2015 Most Improved Team: UCLA
  • 2015 Division Director of the Year: John Drsek (Ohio Division)
  • 2015 Regional Director of the Year: Jay Lu (Northeast)

*Rookie Teams are school teams that have never participated in the NCTTA Championships (Subject to NCTTA Historical records)

*Rookie of the year are players new to College Table Tennis (they can be any year Fresh/soph/junior/senior/graduate student) also subject to NCTTA Historical records

*Division and Regional Directors must be current to 2015-16 Competition Year

TWU Rises to the Top of the College Table Tennis World

Pictured above: Texas Wesleyan Women's team

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman

Texas Wesleyan University table tennis players expressed their joy by tossing Coach Jasna Rather into the air after winning the 2016 coed team championship.

Rather landed safely with a big smile on her face at the Round Rock Sports Center on March 27.  The coach received a nice lift minutes that Sunday evening after her TWU teams practically made it a clean sweep. The Rams paddled their way to capture four of the six titles at the TMS College Table Tennis National Championships in Round Rock.

Facing rival Mississippi College for the fifth year in a row, Texas Wesleyan’s mighty players refused to repeat what happened a year ago. At the 2015 championships, MC shocked the table tennis world by edging Texas Wesleyan after the formidable Fort Worth squad won 11 consecutive coed team titles.

TWU’s narrow loss in April 2015 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin seemed to put Rather and her talented team on a 24/7 mission to regain the coed team title. And they did it in dramatic fashion as fans cheered loudly in the Lone Star State.

At the championship games in late March near Austin, the TWU Rams defeated newcomer Ohlone College of California and Toronto before squaring off against the Mississippi College Choctaws. Consisting of four superb players from China, the Mississippi College team knocked off California and the University of Texas to reach the finals in the Sports Capital of Texas.

Accolades keep pouring in from fans who watched the action in Round Rock or others seeing the Olympic sport via the NCTTA’s live streaming cameras.

NCTTA President Willy Leparulo led the salute to the new 2016 champs.

 “Texas Wesleyan stormed back to the top of college table tennis,’’ Leparulo said. “I predicted last year after Mississippi College won the team competition that it would awake a sleeping giant (Texas Wesleyan.’’

And when all was said and done, Texas Wesleyan flexed its muscles with its contingent of stars. The TWU Rams are the United Nations of table tennis with players coming from China, Germany, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, the Ukraine and elsewhere.

But it didn’t come easy. “Mississippi College was still very much in the mix’’ Leparulo said. What was shaping up to look like an MC victory went a different way in a hurry.

 “It just goes to show you how sports are,’’ says Leparulo, who coaches the Florida State University table tennis team. “Texas Wesleyan was within moments of a losing affair, but turned it around. Anyone watching could feel the tension. It was a magical ending.’’

Led by Coach & Captain Cheng Li, the MC Choctaws grabbed a 2-1 lead in the finals, it didn’t last long. TWU’s Zhe Feng defeated MC’s Qing Wei Sun to force the finals to go to doubles. Coach Rather decided to put the paddles in the hands of Zhe Feng, a former Chinese National Team member, and Jishan Liang, her top-rated singles player. The dynamic TWU duo proved too much for MC’s Cheng Li and doubles partner Tong Zhang. The Rams won three straight game, much to the delight of their fan base, and the Texas Wesleyan celebration erupted.

The four triumphs in Round Rock chalked up by TWU with its coed team, women’s team, men’s doubles and women’s doubles adds to their remarkable achievements dating back to 2003. The TWU Rams have won 12 coed team titles, 10 men’s singles titles (the last by Zhe Feng in 2015), 7 women’s singles titles (the last by Sara Hazinski in 2011), 9 men’s doubles titles, 8 women’s doubles titles and 8 mixed doubles titles.

The only titles escaping TWU in 2016 were: the women’s singles title by Ting Wang of Ohlone College and the men’s singles title going to Mississippi College’s Yi Chi Zhang.

Rather poured on the praise for her squad. The group includes one of her stars, Emil Santos of the Dominican Republic, who completed his collegiate playing career over the weekend. Santos, she said, served TWU as an effective team leader. Santos, she said, ranks with some of the finest collegiate players she’s coached at Texas Wesleyan.

Others coming home with No. 1 awards: the TWU men’s doubles team of Bruno Ventura Dos Anjos of Brazil and Shuai Wang of China, and the women’s doubles team of Anastasia Rybka of the Ukraine and Edina Haracic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Texas Wesleyan’s aces led a powerful lineup of six schools from the Lone Star State. The others were: Texas A&M, the University of Texas, North Texas, Texas Tech, and UT-Dallas.

Lindenwood University Brothers Love Table Tennis

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman
 
Who's a better table tennis player? It's really hard to say when asking two brothers who are standouts on the Lindenwood University team.
 
That was the question asked Gabriel Skolnick, 22, and Micaiah Skolnick, 20, on Sunday at the NCTTA championship games in Round Rock, Texas. No doubt, inquiring minds want to know.
 
First, a little background. The Skolnick brothers grew up playing table tennis in the basement of their home in Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania near the Maryland border. The boys played the sport with their mom and friends, and got hooked at an early age.
 
In terms of ratings, reports show that Gabriel's rating stands at 2370 and Micaiah ranks at 2340. So that's pretty close. Flip a coin to see who's best on any given day. In terms of face to face USATT competition, one brother won 23 games, and the other chalked up 19 victories. That's close, too. So it really doesn't matter who holds the upper hand in that department.
 
What about countless games played for years in their basement in Peach Bottom? Evidently, statisticians in the Keystone State failed to keep up on that score. Gabriel was twelve and Micaiah was ten when they began playing in amateur tournaments and joined a local club. They became students at Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri. And the rest is history.
 
Both brothers are not only star players. They serve as key leaders for the Lindenwood Lions. An NCTTA powerhouse for nearly a decade, the school's coed team finished in 9th place at the 2016 national championships near Austin.
 
All season long, the Skolnick brothers remained valuable assets for the squad.
 
"I feel like they are leaders on the team, and tell us what to do in practice,'' said Lindenwood freshman Kevin Choo of South Korea. With both guys around, they helped the team build friendships, Kevin said while watching the games at the Round Rock Sports Center.
 
  In the Show Me State, Lindenwood boasts a solid team that's rich in terms of its diversity. Players come to the Missouri school from Egypt, Ecuador, China, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Mexico, and the USA. The list goes on. Lindenwood is among a handful of NCTTA schools that offers scholarships to outstanding players from around the globe.
 
  It helps communications with teammates that both Skolnick brothers speak Spanish.
 
  There are a few visible differences between the two young men. On Sunday, the younger Micaiah sported a beard. Older brother Gabriel had a beard until shaving it off recently.
 
   Both bright Lindenwood students are biochemistry majors who plan to pursue different career paths. Gabriel wants to pursue graduate studies at a physician assistant program. Micaiah expects to go to graduate school in physical chemistry and earn his doctorate. He's eyeing grad schools like Penn State and the University of Pennsylvania.
 
What attracts the Lindenwood brothers to table tennis? Traveling to tournaments far from home, the many friends they've made with people around the world, and the fun along the way. They both love life at the university near St. Louis and wearing the Black and Gold as table tennis players.
 
There were nice moments to remember for each of the Lindenwood Lions at Round Rock.
Gabriel Skolnick noted his strong effort, although it ended in a loss in singles against Texas Wesleyan star Emil Santos of the Dominican Republic. After going up against some of North America's top collegiate players, Micaiah is delighted to return to Lindenwood for his senior year and hopes to make the trip to the 2017 championships.
 
The 2016 NCTTA championship games are almost done, but the Skolnick brothers will keep playing in the weeks ahead and years to come. Gabriel and Micaiah expect to prepare for the upcoming American Team Championships near Chicago. Like many NCTTA players, they just can't live without the Olympic sport.

Northwestern Makes Impressive Showing at 2016 Champs

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman

Six years ago, Northwestern University table tennis players battled with the school's ballroom dancing club to squeeze in enough time to practice on campus.

The fights for practice time at the student center at the Big Ten school in Evanston, Illinois are now over.

Led by Coach Ned Leuchtner, the Northwestern table tennis thrived during the 2015-16 season. The squad advanced to the NCTTA's Big Dance, the 2016 national  championships in Round Rock, Texas. The three-day tournament ended Sunday.

As Leuchtner watched awesome women's doubles teams from Texas Wesleyan and Wisconsin scrap for points, he was pretty well pleased with the performance of his talented bunch.

The Northwestern team is sparked by freshman David Lee, an 18-year-old industrial engineering major from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He arrived at the Lone Star State tournament with a rating of 2275 and saw an uptick in his game over the weekend.

Competition for Northwestern was pretty tough at times. There were Northwestern team losses to No. 11 McMaster University of Canada and No. 12 UCLA.  "But we satisfied with how we did during these tight matches,'' Leuchtner said Sunday at the Round Rock Sports Center.

Before all was said and done, Northwestern knocked off Western University of Canada. That was an unexpected triumph. Their determination and success over the weekend gave the Northwestern team something to build on for next season. "Our four guys will all be back next season,'' the coach noted.

Making its debut in the nationals, Northwestern's coed team finished 23rd.There are actually 15 members on the team that wears purple uniforms. The student-athletes competed for four slots on the squad making the journey to Texas.

Rounding out Northwestern's team: Shengzhi Luan, 25, a civil engineering graduate student from Harbin, China, Dash Neimark, 25, a graduate student from Ormond, Florida, and Edward Lin, a sophomore from Beijing, China. Luan advanced his game as a teen in high school leagues in China.

Northwestern's excellent academic reputation helps recruit players. So does the team's Facebook site, and the university's plugged in network of alums and students.

Serving as Northwestern's coach the past six seasons is something that Leuchtner does because he loves the Olympic sport and helping students succeed in life. The coach knows how to win. He was the table tennis champ at Indiana University in 1984. Outside the table tennis world, Leuchtner supervises the construction of historic properties. That includes the restoration of a Mobil gas station dating back to 1920.

Other college table tennis teams fared well on their first trip to the national championships. That included the North Texas State Mean Green. The school from Denton, Texas was delighted to report its coed team finished in 13th place. UNT ended up in the top eight in doubles. One of its singles players landed in the top 32.

North Texas State Coach Daniel Rutenberg believes his young team will be even better next year. His squad includes two 16-year-old players, Bryan Wu, and Chris Tian, both of Plano. Tsz Lun "Alan'' Chu is the oldest player, a 28-year-old graduate student from Hong Kong. Freshmen Brandon Chow, 17, and Jack Zhang, 18, both of Plano, round out the Mean Green Machine. The 16-year-olds are talented teens with paddles in hand. Bryan's rating is 2250 and Chris ranks at 1800.

In the real world, Rutenberg works as a marketing man. He's doing a terrific job marketing UNT table tennis in the Dallas area and beyond. As the three-day event in Round Rock was winding down, he called it a pretty good tournament for his team. With their games enhanced here, a stronger North Texas bunch seeks to return to the NCTTA's 2017 national championships.

The 2016 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Round Rock 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, and Joola.

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the TMS College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday March 25th and continues through Sunday March 27th at the Round Rock Sports Center

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

 

Table Tennis is Bigger in Texas. But...Why? Part II

Pictured above is a Inter Texas Scrimmage with UNT, UT Austin, etc.

By Brent Hearn

In Part I, we noted the formidable presence of Texas teams in this year’s NCTTA Championships. In the midst of the tournament action, we got the chance to talk to a couple of people who might have an idea of what’s causing the Lone Star State’s stock to rise in the world of collegiate table tennis.

Judy Chen, a former University of Texas at Austin player who is acting as the team’s coach, gives a lot of credit to the strength of table tennis in the city of Plano.

“Plano had a lot of students who were playing table tennis very seriously before high school, and it just so (happens that) we all entered the high school/college years,” said Chen, who is enrolled in UT’s pharmacy school. “For instance...four people on our UT team...used to practice together in Plano.”

But Chen also thinks that’s just one of several factors.

“(Table tennis is) becoming more well known,” said Chen. “The clubs have been established for a longer time, so they’re doing a better job advertising themselves so more people are aware of it. We’re lucky that a lot of international students...graduate students, especially--they’re here, they came to Texas, then they found these clubs, and they’re all really good.”

Eldon Luo, a 20-year-old sophomore at Texas A&M acting as the team’s coach, cited the top-tier competition as a motivator.

According to Luo, “Texas is one of the hardest divisions, because we have Wesleyan, UT Austin, UT Dallas, and North Texas. North Texas is really good this year. Whenever you have top players, you really want to do better. Somebody as strong as Wesleyan--they just push us.”

“We’re lucky that there’s all these good players that are willing to play,” said Chen.

The 2016 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Round Rock 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, and Joola.

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the TMS College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday March 25th and continues through Sunday March 27th at the Round Rock Sports Center

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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