By Willy Leparulo
Doubles is almost as important to College Table Tennis as the right shoes are for Basketball or Soccer. Table Tennis in general is an individual sport, but Collegiate Doubles makes or breaks the team competition. NCTTA format is 4 singles and 1 doubles, so one can see the potential importance.
Also the Championships have a Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles competition that features talent in a kind of Table Tennis that generally isn’t seen (Doubles).
In Women’s Doubles, eight pair of teammates got together from eight different schools to try and take the title. Last year’s champs were from the University of Toronto, but this year the event is different. Joe Wells, NCTTA Vice President states, “Without the reigning champs from Toronto the door has opened up for a new champion and this event is wide open”.
Princeton has the top doubles seed with Ariel Hsing and Erica Wu, but the pairs from Texas Wesleyan, Duke, and California are just as competitive and potentially represent the doubles teams for the team event too!
Men’s Doubles has a record 30 pairs registered this year with top seeds from Mississippi College, Cheng Li and rookie freshmen Tong Zhang. Texas Wesleyan occupies the #2 and #3 spots and of those three teams they are only separated by 70 points!
Pairs to watch out for are Michael Landers and Tahl Leibovitz of NYU seeded #4, but also because Leibovitz is a doubles genius along with Landers' athleticism and power could provide for some interesting matches. Grant Li and Justin Huang of USC won the Doubles in 2013 and are back teaming up together to recapture their title and seeded at #5.
This is going to be the most competitive doubles event in NCTTA history!
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.
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