Bidding for 2016 Championships

With the 2015 TMS College Table Tennis National Championships completed, it is time to turn attention to the 2016 edition, starting with determining the location. Perhaps your city and/or school can play an instrumental part in making the next edition the best ever by hosting it. Interested parties should read the Championship Bidding Guidelines, then fill out and submit the Championship Bid Application (both in the Documents section) by the May 15 deadline.

2015 Championships

NCTTA's main event of the year, the 2015 TMS College Table Tennis National Championships, took place April 10-12 at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.

Congratulations to the champions!

  • Women's Doubles: Ariel Hsing & Erica Wu, Princeton University
  • Men's Doubles: Cheng Li & Tong Zhang, Mississippi College
  • Women's Singles: Lily Zhang, University of California - Berkeley
  • Men's Singles: Zhe Feng, Texas Wesleyan University
  • Women's Team: Princeton University
  • Coed Team: Mississippi College

Thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, and players who made it happen! Thanks as well to all who watched and supported the event!

nctta.president's picture

Mississippi College Table Tennis Team Wins 2015 National Championship

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairmen

Mississippi College's table tennis team ended a decade of dominance by powerhouse Texas Wesleyan to capture their first national collegiate championship in Wisconsin Sunday.

Moments after the thrilling two-point triumph over the Texas Wesleyan Rams, MC players rushed onto the court to celebrate the victory. On Monday, they will bring a giant trophy home to the 5,000-student university in Clinton, Mississippi.

With games split at two apiece, the fierce match with Texas Wesleyan was decided with doubles play. MC's dynamic duo of Cheng Li and Tong Zhang overcame a 7-3 deficit to shine at the end. The MC stars from China defeated two Texas Wesleyan standouts 12-10 to emerge as the 2015 champions.

After three consecutive years of finishing No. 2 in the nation, staying as runner-ups once again wasn't in the script for the Blue and Gold. MC players rushed onto the court and exchanged hugs and smiles moments after the win.

Ironically, the historic victory came at the 11,000-student University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire that also promotes its Blue and Gold colors, just like the MC Choctaws.

"We are so lucky,'' MC Coach and Captain Cheng Li said at post-game interviews on National Collegiate Table Tennis Association live streaming broadcasts. But it really took lots of skill and a little luck for the 6'3" native of China and teammate Tong Zhang to knock off TWU players Zhe Feng of China and Bruno Ventura Dos Anjos of Brazil. Feng, 38, finished as the new men's singles champion.

"This is a huge step for us,'' added Tyler Brogdon, the lone American on the mighty Mississippi College squad with three other players from China. Putting a funny spin on the moment, Brogdon joked that the MC team was going to Disneyland, the dream of NFL stars at the Super Bowl.

"The whole team worked together,'' said assistant MC coach Zhicheng "Johnson'' Liang. While there were many moments when it looked like MC would end up No. 2 once again, the players never gave up. "We believed in MC,'' he said.

Texas Wesleyan Coach Jasna Rather offered her congratulations to the new champs. But she also thanked her team for another strong effort at the April 10-12 tournament that attracted 250 top collegiate players from the USA and Canada.

 "This is table tennis history - they (MC) took us down after 11 years,'' Rather said while Mississippi College players displayed their trophy and posed for pictures. "It's tough.''

Rather said the victory by MC players was "well-deserved.'' Every game, she said, was "so tense.''

It took a team effort by Mississippi College to make it happen. The pressure was on MC's  Yi Chi Zhang, but he narrowly captured his singles match to force the final round of doubles. Yi Chi managed to hold on and edge Bruno Ventura Dos Anjos, three games to two. 

"To say this is a big deal is  really an understatement,'' said National Collegiate Table Tennis Association President Willy Leparulo. "It is a monumental win by Mississippi College.''' The MC triumph, he said, "elevates all of college table tennis'' after Texas Wesleyan's coed team ruled for so many years.

Mississippi College claimed another big trophy from the 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships in Wisconsin MC's Cheng Li and Tong Zhang took home the title of No. 1 in the nation with its doubles team.

In its 8th season of table tennis competition, MC's squad received help from assistant coach  Liang, who shouted words of encouragement during the games and served as the team's driver for four days in Wisconsin.

Former head coach Ken Qiu, a native of China, built the squad from scratch, with the team ending its first season at the 2008 NCTTA championships as No. 14 in the nation. In 2009, the MC women's team finished 4th in the nation. After a couple of consecutive seasons in 5th place, the Choctaws finally reached the No. 2 spot in 2012 at the national championships in Plano, Texas.

To reach the coveted spot of No. 1 for its coed team, MC defeated schools like Penn State and McGill University of Canada. The team from Clinton entered the tournament seeded No. 2 over bigger schools like California-Berkeley, Princeton, Southern California, Lindenwood of Missouri, Michigan, Mcmaster of Canada, Columbia of New York, and UCLA.

Last season, Cheng Li, an MC business major, returned home to Clinton as the No. 1 men's singles player in the nation. While he lost that crown to a Texas Wesleyan standout Zhedi Bai on Saturday, Li was delighted to see the MC comeback result in its first championship.

Other titles went to Texas Wesleyan for men's singles, California for women's singles, and Princeton for its women's team that included U.S. Olympic stars like Ariel Hsing and Erica Wu. Cal's Lily Zhang, the women's singles champ, played on the U.S. Olympic team, and hopes to be on the squad for the 2016 games in Rio.

While only a sparse crowd was on hand for the final games as many players headed to airports for trips back to their campuses, those that stayed saw fantastic contests with long volleys, amazing spins, slams and great defensive play.

"Credit goes to our fantastic group of players who practiced for countless hours at Alumni Gym and traveled to tournaments around the nation,'' said Andy Kanengiser, the MC table tennis sponsor."We hope the entire MC family welcomes them at an exhibition at Alumni Gym Wednesday night starting at 6 p.m.''

New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz and a three-time Caribbean champion Robert Roberts will challenge the nation's No. 1 MC team.

Shortz is a table tennis fanatic who's played the Olympic sport in 48 states (except for Mississippi and Hawaii) and in more than two dozen countries. Will's the owner of the Westchester Table Tennis Center in New York and National Public Radio Puzzlemaster with a show every Sunday morning. A reception for the New Yorkers will be at the Leland Speed Library at 5 p.m. on April 15. The events are free and open to the public.

The 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Visit Eau Claire 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, Double Fish, Joola and PepPod.

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

 

nctta.president's picture

Tahl Leibovitz Wraps Up College Table Tennis Career

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman

At age 39, Tahl Leibovitz plays table tennis with the same intensity and star power that Derek Jeter brought to the New York Yankees.

Tahl's experience, skills and knowledge of all aspects of the Olympic sport did wonders for New York University's team this season.

A native of Israel and Para Olympic gold medalist, Leibovitz teamed up with NYU ace Michael Landers and others to wow crowds at the 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships. 

In Eau Claire, Wisconsin April 10-12, the Nationals ended Tahl's four years of eligibility as a player at the NCTTA's biggest tournament of the year. But his table tennis career is far from over.

What's next for Tahl? Playing table tennis at the 2016 Para Olympics in Rio remains on his to-do list and possibly down the road should the event come to the USA in 2024. 

At age 39, he's still got it after 20 straight years of playing table tennis tournaments and lots of experience coaching the sport. His table tennis rating of around 2400 isn't bad for this senior statesman of collegiate table tennis. Prior to the Nationals,Tahl was rated 13th best in men's singles. The New Yorker turns 40 on June 1.

Michael Landers and other NYU teammates rave about Leibovitz.

His success "shows you can play at a high level and juggle school,'' Landers said Sunday as the 2015 championship matches on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus reached the finals.

Game after game, Tahl "comes out and holds his own. He's an incredible and amazing competitor,'' adds Landers, 20, an NYU sophomore from Long Island. "He's one of my mentors.''

A 2014 NYU graduate, Kenneth Lim watched Tahl and other elite players in action at the Nationals and handled post-game interviews for NCTTA live streaming broadcasts. "His experience really comes out. He's a great player and coach as well,'' says Lim, who played on the NYU table tennis squad last season.

At 5'4'', Leibovitz isn't a big guy, but stands tall in the table tennis world and excels in the classroom.

A graduate of Queens College in New York, Tahl is on track to receive his master's in clinical social work from NYU in a few weeks. The NYU graduate student also squeezes in time to work at a clinic 30 hours a week.

After three days of solid spins, tricky serves and ferocious slams to help NYU's coed team achieve a 9th place finish at the Nationals, he's got a big dreams ahead.

"I want to help people,'' he says. The goal-driven table tennis star wants to focus on a career in clinical therapy and social work.

The 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Visit Eau Claire 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, Double Fish, Joola and PepPod.

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 10th and continues through Sunday April 12th at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.

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

 

 

nctta.president's picture

NCTTA Leaders Honors Faithful Volunteers From Iowa

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman

Traveling home to Iowa will be much sweeter for Jarol and Leah Duerksen.

Overseeing the practice area at the 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships in Wisconsin April 10-12 was a joy for the couple from Iowa City.

But the longtime NCTTA volunteers will make the 6-hour journey to the Hawkeye State feeling blessed. At Saturday night's festive championships awards dinner at an Eau Claire hotel, NCTTA leaders honored the Duerksens for their dedication and faithful service as wonderful volunteers at college table tennis championships around the nation.

"We were totally shocked, We had no idea it was coming,'' 78-year-old Jarol Duerksen said Sunday morning. Nearby, college players from schools around the USA and Canada pounded table tennis balls on 15 practice tables at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus. "We are amazed, delighted and thankful.''

Jarol and Leah Duerksen began volunteering at NCTTA tournaments six years ago. The first time was at the championships games at a community near Milwaukee in 2010. They've run practice tables at other NCTTA championship venues in cities like Rochester, Minnesota, Rockford, Illinois, and Monroeville, Pennsylvania in recent years. They drove 14 hours last April to make it to the 2014 tournament near Pittsburgh.

Volunteering at college table tennis tournaments got in their blood and they love it. "We have friends for life,'' Jarol said as the 2015 championship games neared the home stretch. "We are living the dream.''

Retired from Air Force duties, Jarol also volunteers as an admissions assistant for the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. A pastor for many years, Jarol and his wife,Leah, stay committed to table tennis year-round.

The couple invites people to play table tennis at their home in Iowa City every Wednesday evening. Players from Romania, India, Japan, China and the USA enjoy hitting the hollow white balls for hours and treasure the fellowship. Their community is home to the University of Iowa. In addition, the Duerksens are regulars at a table tennis club in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 30 minutes away.

Volunteering at table tennis tournaments like the one attracting 250 top-notch college players to Eau Claire, Wisconsin has its rewards. "It's the people we meet, the friends we make,'' Leah says.

Back in 1956, Leah, 76, stood out as the "prettiest babe in the room'' at a college table tennis club in Portland, Oregon, Jarol told the audience at the awards banquet at the Clarion Hotel. One thing led to another and the table tennis friends got married.

"The Duerksens are fabulous volunteers and we deeply appreciate their years of dedicated service,'' says NCTTA President Willy Leparulo. "We depend on our superb teams of volunteers to make our tournaments successful year after year.''

The Duerksens worked many hours at the practice tables from Thursday through Sunday. They won't get much rest once they make it back to Iowa. Jarol and Leah will step up their own practices to get ready as table tennis players at the National Senior Games in July in Minneapolis. When it comes to their support of the Olympic sport of table tennis, the Iowans are always big winners

The 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Visit Eau Claire 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, Double Fish, Joola and PepPod.

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 10th and continues through Sunday April 12th at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.

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

 

 

nctta.president's picture

Schools in Canada Enjoy 2015 Table Tennis Championships

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman

Players from Canadian schools encountered stiff table tennis competition soon after crossing the border into America.

For the team from McGill University in Montreal, the first test Friday at the 2015 college table tennis championships in Wisconsin was facing mighty Mississippi College. MC ranked No. 2 in the nation for three consecutive seasons.

 "Playing MC, we knew it was a tough match and we lost 3-1,'' said McGill freshman Isaac Chan. "But it encouraged us to work harder.''

 After battling Mississippi College stars like Cheng Li, Yi Chi Zhang and Tong Zhang, all natives of China, McGill took on Penn State and fared better Saturday.

Making its first visit to the TMS national championships in Eau Claire, Wisconsin proved quite a learning experience for the players at 39,000-student McGill University.

 "At the Nationals, the levels are really high. The Regionals are a step up, but the Nationals are several levels up,'' says Chan, an 18-year-old electrical engineering student.

 Just getting to the tournament wasn't easy. Weather issues and delayed or cancelled flights led to the McGill team arriving at their Eau Claire hotel at 2 a.m. and playing table tennis a few hours later. Many other teams here shared weather woes and travel nightmares.

"It's hard to predict the weather,'' Chan said.

 It's also hard to predict how the best table tennis teams in Canada and the USA would do against one another for three straight days. But most observers gave the edge to Texas Wesleyan that is seeking its 12th consecutive coed team championship.

Chan was matched with other stellar players in singles from other schools. The list included Lindenwood University  standout Felipe Morita, a 26-year-old graduate student from Brazil.

Listed in surveys as the 21st best university in the world, for its noted research programs, McGill is quickly building a reputation for a dynamic table tennis team. Ling Kun Yang, William Liu and Xiaokang Deng round out the talented squad.

Once the national championships are over, and final exams are all finished, Isaac plans to work on developing his table tennis game. He's returning to Hong Kong over the summer.

Thousands of miles from Montreal, the McGill student will practice with his former table tennis coach and should be better next season. Most of his teammates will be back, too.

The experience at the Nationals was a good one for Western Ontario coach Sam Howes. The Western Ontario women's team was seeded 4th prior to the tournament, and is expected to finish 4th or better on Sunday. "We are in a good spot.''

But the end of the tournament will bring change for the former Western Ontario player. Sam is leaving the school to pursue his doctorate in music theory at McGill. Eunice Chan, the assistant coach will succeed Howes as the Mustangs head coach next season.

Getting to the Nationals wasn't a snap for the Western Ontario team. They drove 11 hours to Rockford, Illinois, spent the night and motored the rest of the way to Eau Claire.

The April 10-12 tournament in Wisconsin welcomed other potent squads from Canada, including McMaster University. The school brings standouts like Klement Yeung and Dun Li from the country's national team. For McMaster, it marked the team's debut at the national championships.

 

The 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Visit Eau Claire 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, Double Fish, Joola and PepPod.

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 10th and continues through Sunday April 12th at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.

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

 

 

nctta.president's picture

Women Bring Star Power to College Table Tennis

By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chairman
 
Ariel Hsing, Shirley Fu and Erica Wu are awesome table tennis players at Princeton. The same holds true for standouts Lily Zhang at California-Berkeley and Anastasiia Rybka at Texas Wesleyan.
 
All five incredible female athletes bring star power to the 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
 
While men overshadow women in the sports universe, table tennis tournaments at colleges across the USA and Canada see a growing number of top-notch females competing, says NCTTA President Willy Leparulo.
 
Players like Hsing of San Jose, California and Zhang of Palo Alto, California have competed on the 2012 U.S. Olympic table tennis team. They are expected to gain spots on the USA squad for the 2016 games in Rio.
 
Rybka, 22, comes to Texas Wesleyan this season with solid credentials as a member of the Junior National Team in the Ukraine, TWU Rams coach Jasna Rather says proudly. She arrived in the USA last summer and is earning a master's in education at the Fort Worth school, a longtime college table tennis powerhouse. Anastasiia is a bright native of Kiev who speaks pretty good English.
 
On the West Coast, table tennis remains a big part of Ellen Hwang's life as a terrific player at the University of California-Berkeley. But the 20-year-old economics major puts her education first."My main focus is school - my ping pong career is on hold.''
 
For the Cal Bears, football and basketball attract far more media attention, money and fans than club sports like table tennis. It causes Ellen and her Cal teammates to go out and raise cash by training beginners. "With our college team everything is on our own.''
 
As for the future, Hwang sees a growth spurt for women's table tennis and other collegiate sports."A lot more girls at a younger age are playing table tennis,'' she said, while the marathon of matches continued at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
 
"For a while there was a stigma that girls shouldn't be too athletic, and it's more of a boys thing. But our culture is changing,'' adds Ellen, a Thousand Oaks, California resident.
 
Last year, Hwang and the California women were good enough to finish No. 2 in team competition at the 2014 TMS college championships in Monroeville, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. The Cal ladies are bringing their "A game'' to the Wisconsin tournament in April.
 
Table tennis is on the upswing for University of Michigan women's players. They come to the 43,000-student Ann Arbor campus from China and Taiwan where table tennis is king. While the sport isn't nearly as popular as Wolverines football or hockey,table tennis is drawing more women, says Liren Guo, 20, a native of China.
 
But the books, not table tennis paddles are always a bigger priority for Michigan players. "You need  to study at our school first,'' says Liren, 20, a psychology major. Teammates from Taiwan like information science graduate student Sherry Chu and economics grad student Angel Chen, both agree.
 
The power of women's table tennis was clearly evident on a national stage Saturday. Princeton stars Shirley Fu and Erica Woo edged a men's doubles team from the University of Minnesota, Ben Kubesh and Kris Sabas in five games. Fans cheered loudly for both sides. 
 
"We lost 11-9 in the 5th. We were elated with how everyone played,'' said John Tranter, the Minnesota team faculty advisor."It was unexpected that we would get this far. Princeton is an amazing team - one of the top five.''
 
And extraordinary women players are leading the fight for the Princeton Tigers this season.
The 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Visit Eau Claire 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, Double Fish, Joola and PepPod.
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 10th and continues through Sunday April 12th at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.
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
 

nctta.president's picture

Southern California Player Adds Color to Championships

By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chairman
 
One shoe is orange and another is yellow. His socks don’t match.
 
That’s for starters as University of Southern California table tennis standout Kevin Korb suits up for another match at the 2015 TMS national championships.
 
His uniform is perfectly legal at the tournament in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
 
Call his approach to collegiate table tennis a little unorthodox or perhaps unusual.
 
“I like to have fun with it,’’ says the 19-year-old USC student moments before taking on a player from the University of Texas in a singles match Friday morning. “ I get people to notice.’’
 
Kevin definitely stands out at the April 10-12 tournament on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.
 
With snow on the ground outside the venue, Kevin’s game, not just his looks, grab the attention of fans.
 
Against his Texas Longhorn rival, Kevin repeatedly looped the Double Fish ball skyward to make the match more interesting. In practice, he also tried some trick shots between his legs. Again, different gets noticed at the venue attracting nearly 250 of the best collegiate table tennis players in the USA and Canada.
 
Kevin believes his offbeat clothing styles and funky shots can work to his advantage. “People get a little distracted,’’ says Korb, the president of the USC Ping Pong Posse. It seems to be working. Kevin rates pretty high as a 2000 level player in USATT tournaments and about 1750 in the college ranks.
 
NCTTA President Willy Leparulo is familiar with what Kevin Korb brings to the Olympic sport.
 
A psychology major, Kevin adds some spice to the 2015 TMS championships in the Cheese State, Willy says. “He’s a showman for sure.’’
 
As for his uniform, Kevin meets all the regulations since he is wearing the USC team shirt.
 
Kevin evidently has a good mentor at Southern California in Adam Bobrow, Willy says. Adam loves to do offbeat things as he goes about promoting table tennis from the USA to China. Adam developed his game and style as a USC Trojan player a few years ago.
 
Since he’s going to school in Los Angeles, Kevin enjoys mingling with Hollywood stars and famous CEOs in the business world. He’s played at the table tennis charity events sponsored by actress Susan Sarandon, owner of SPIN clubs in New York and L.A. He’s played the game with Troy Carter, CEO of Adam Factory Records, among others. He follows L.A. Clippers hoops star Chris Paul who loves table tennis. Kevin is also a PepPod Table Tennis ambassador (NCTTA's newest sponsor, PepPod) so it is all in the family for Kevin!
 
This is Kevin’s second time to play at the Nationals. To say the least, he’s enjoying every moment in the spotlight.
 
Not bad for someone who started playing the game 18 months ago. Want more Kevin Korb? Check out his Instagram account. He’s got 23,000 followers.
 
The 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Visit Eau Claire 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, Double Fish, Joola and PepPod.
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 10th and continues through Sunday April 12th at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.
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
 
 

nctta.president's picture

Wisconsin Eau Claire Team Brings Home Flavor

By Andy Kanengiser
Home cooking, a short drive to the venue and plenty of  cheering fans on campus are some of the advantages for the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire table tennis team.
 
There are no worries about the weather or major travel expenses for the home team at the 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships.
 
Having the national championships come to his hometown has been a wonderful thing, says Derek Levin, 21, a Wisconsin Eau Claire senior in his 4th season on the table tennis squad. "It's really exciting. We've never had big programs here.''
 
 A mathematics and Spanish major, Derek got to face players from some huge universities right off the bat. His first match was against a top player from UCLA. The Eau Claire resident got beat 3 games to zero. "It was a hard match,'' but at the same time, it was fun to go against one of the best, he said.
 
 Levin says he's faced stiff competition before. The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire enrolls a little less than 11,000 students, but regularly plays table tennis with bigger schools like the University of Minnesota, some 90 miles away.
 
Facing Minnesota, a team that regularly plans in NCTTA regional and national championships, is "always a learning experience,'' Levin says. "We never beat them.''
 
There are eight players on the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire team. Some of the players enjoyed basking in the media spotlight this weekend. Local newspaper and TV reporters did stories featuring the Blue & Gold of Eau Claire.
 
Ben Morgan joined others with the city's Convention & Visitors Bureau to put in a bid for the tournament and is delighted the event is finally here.
 
As players from schools like Boston University, Princeton, Texas Wesleyan, Central Florida, Penn State and Michigan slammed Double Fish table tennis balls around, Morgan was thrilled to see Wisconsin Eau Claire's team join the action.
 
 Landing the national tournament "is a feather in our hat,'' says Morgan, a sports sales manager with the convention bureau.
 
 The city has hosted major sporting events before, including the U.S. Snowshoe National Championship in recent months.
 
 Snow, but not snowshoes, made an unexpected visit to the city late Thursday evening, but sunny skies melted much of it by Friday morning. The April 10-12 tournament here is attracting about 250 players from colleges across the USA and Canada along with teams of volunteers.
 
The 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Visit Eau Claire 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, Double Fish, Joola and PepPod.
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 10th and continues through Sunday April 12th at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.
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

nctta.president's picture

Duke Brings Talented Team to 2015 Nationals

By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chairman
 
Sports fans across America know the Duke Blue Devils are riding high as the No 1 team in college hoops.
 
Thanks to a superb group of freshmen bound for the NBA, Duke defeated the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA championship in April. It meant a 5th national title for legendary Coach K.
 
 Duke table tennis doesn't generate nearly the media buzz like the guys on the hardwood. Still, they have an extraordinary squad on the 14,500-student Durham, North Carolina campus.
 
  The potent Duke squad is led by graduate student Stephanie Sun, a 23-year-old biostatistics major from China. Prior to the 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships in Wisconsin, Stephanie was ranked as the 6th best women's collegiate table tennis player in North America.
 
 The Duke team is boosted this year by the addition of freshman Ying Ni. The bright 19-year-old music major was born in China, but lives in Canada.
 
Duke's strong academic programs, not table tennis, attracted her to the school in the heart of the Research Triangle in North Carolina. But she was aware of the school's table tennis team, and sent an email to the club's president to say she's excited to be on her way to Duke.
 
Ying Ni remains pretty serious about her favorite Olympic sport and keeps the same focus on academics. While key matches were going on at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire she stayed busy studying in a quiet place nearby with her teammates at the recreation center.
 
As for table tennis, the Duke freshman plays the game with passion from start to finish. Ni is ranked No. 13 of the women players in the April 10-12 tournament in Eau Claire. She and Princeton University standout Shirley Fu, 19, are friends and teammates on Team Canada. Shirley is an operations research and financial engineering major at Princeton and resident of the Province of British Columbia.
 
Duke's team has other table tennis stars on the roster,including Grace Li, 19, a biochemistry major and creative writing minor. The sophomore from Houston, Texas plans to attend medical school. Li attended Oxford University in England last summer.
 
Academics are "not terribly difficult at Duke,'' Li said during a break from her studies and games Friday afternoon. "But you need to practice time management.''
 
Other top-notch players on the Duke squad include Jeremy Lai, 20, a native of Hong Kong studying neuroscience. Like lots of Duke students, Jeremy is a big-time fan of Coach K and the university's super basketball team. "Duke winning the national championship was huge,'' he said.
 
Landing a spot in the 2015 TMS championships in Wisconsin, is a big deal, too, for Duke table tennis.
 
The 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Visit Eau Claire 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, Double Fish, Joola and PepPod.
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 10th and continues through Sunday April 12th at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.
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

Pages

Subscribe to NCTTA RSS