Twin Brothers Propel Toledo Rockets Table Tennis

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chair

Twin brothers from India are helping drive the University of Toledo Rockets Table Tennis team.

The 20-year-olds from Mumbai are both studying mechanical engineering when they are not pounding Double Fish table tennis balls at the Ohio school.

Players at schools across the USA and Canada should see the pair of identical twins at the NCTTA’s 2018 championship games in Round Rock, Texas. Catch the Thorats in action April 20-22 in the Lone Star State.

It’s hard to overstate the value of Chaitanya Thorat and Nachiket Thorat to the awesome Toledo team this season. After all, the brothers from India helped Toledo defeat heavyweight rival Ohio State in the NCTTA’s Fall and Spring Divisional tournaments.

The Thorats are proud to say the Toledo Rockets clinched the university’s first table tennis title in the Ohio West Division this season. The Buckeyes of OSU are a huge in-state rival. Toledo finished as the runner-up the previous season during the divisional matches. The Ohio State team from Columbus was No. 1 in the division a year ago.

The Thorat brothers not only look alike. With paddles in hand, they both speak the common international language of table tennis. They are passionate about the lively Olympic sport.

“We love the adrenaline and playing under pressure,’’ says Nachiket Thorat. “For us, table tennis is like a game of chess. We have to plan our next move in order to win.’’

Playing singles or team events at school, the Thorat brothers quickly joined Toledo’s “A’’ team last season. They first learned there was an NCTTA team on the Toledo campus by talking to two guys playing at the dorm recreation center. One thing led to another, and they signed up.

For the twin brothers born on October 2, it wasn’t a case of them being table tennis rookies when they became Toledo undergraduates. They began playing in the fifth grade and kept going until they were 10th graders.

The Thorat brothers picked up the sport again at Toledo, a growing university enrolling 16,247 undergraduates as well as professional students at the Toledo Medical Center.

In NCAA Division 1 sports, the Toledo Rockets compete in the Mid-American Conference and its teams do quite well. The Toledo Rockets women’s soccer team coached by T.J. Buchholz recently finished this past season as the reigning Mid-American women’s soccer champs. Toledo competes against Midwest schools like Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green and Dayton.

The brothers are helping put table tennis on the map on the Toledo campus.

So who’s better at table tennis? Chaitanya or Nachiket?

When the twin brothers clash, the matches are always close. But usually Nachiket wins.

Competing against one another is fun, but they really enjoy taking part in team events. “We are playing for our teammates, too,’’ Nachiket says.

The 2018 iSET 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 iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, 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 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.

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

 

US Olympic Hopeful Leads Binghamton to Collegiate TT Championships

Binghamton features an Olympic Table Tennis hopeful for 2020, Kai Zhang. Binghamton University has never been to the National Championships and is poised to be one of the best teams yet! This may be their first time as a team at the College Table Tennis Championships but they are brimming with confidence in their first year.

Binghamton not only survived but dominated their division tournaments and came in 4th in the Regional Championships in Canada earning a wildcard into the Championships. Team leader Julio Almonte states, “We are very proud to see our school qualify for such an event, we believe that it is a great opportunity for all of our players to showcase their talents.”

Talents is a bit of an understatement perhaps as Kai Zhang and Akshay Gadikar are featured in Men’s doubles and will look to win also in the team event. Zhang is an Olympic hopeful and Gadikar an Indian international majoring in Computer Science.

Back home in Binghamton, New York, the club is very tight knit with many of their non playing club members glued to the live stream and championship website to see how their team is doing. This is their 2nd year as a competitive program within the Campus Recreation Sport club program. Almonte says, “WE hope that our continuing success will impress our club’s goals and dedication.”

The College Table Tennis Championships is a different event from any other competition in North America in that all tables will have umpires and scorekeepers, and rules that normally are not as strict will be this time. Almonte goes on to say, “Even though our players have played in some of the best facilities in the country, they haven’t played on tournament flooring with umpires throughout this school year (excluding individual tournaments they have participated in). That being said, I’m sure these facilities will live right up to their expectations.”

Binghamton is seeded #16 out of 24 Men’s/Coed teams and while that isn’t the highest seeding, they shouldn’t be trifled with by some of the other school teams. Almonte states, “It is hard to predict where we will place as a team, as this is the first time we are sending out a full team to nationals. We recognize that the level of play will be much greater in regards to the divisional and regional tournaments, and we have been training in preparation for the tournament.” This is why we play because on any given day in Sports, anything can happen.

Tune in April 20-22nd to the 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships!

The 2018 iSET 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 iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, 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 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.

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

 

Volunteer Dennis Yanga Serves NCTTA Champs in Video Production

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chair

Cornell University graduate Dennis Yanga brought much to the table as he worked video productions at the NCTTA’s 2017 championships.

A bright 27-year-old, Yanga grew up near New York City. He’s one of the awesome members of the NCTTA’s team of volunteers making the national championships such a success each season.

After winning kudos for his assistance at the three-day NCTTA tournament in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Dennis will return to the 2018 games in Round Rock, Texas.

“My favorite thing about volunteering with the NCTTA is how much passion and energy everyone has,’’ Yanga said. “It’s a joy being able to work with people that share the same interest in table tennis.’’

Yanga was pretty passionate about hitting the books at Cornell. He earned a MEng in chemical engineering degree from the Ivy League school in 2013. He now works for a company called EaglePicher Technologies.

After graduating from Cornell in Ithaca, New York, Dennis moved to Joplin, Missouri. He worked in the Midwest as a research and development engineer for a company that develops batteries for space, medical and military applications. He continues to play his favorite Olympic sport at the Joplin Table Tennis Club. He volunteers with the group in the Show Me State as an umpire, coach and certified referee.

It's fun stuff. “We host tournaments and have had a few NCTTA players/alumni show up to our previous events.’’

At the NCTTA nationals, Yanga loves being involved in the video work. It’s rewarding as he hears stories of fans across the USA and the globe watching exciting table tennis action live on computer screens.

 “Video production plays a key role in helping alumni support their former teams at Nationals and Regionals with live streams,’’ Yanga said. “It gives alumni a chance to relive Nationals and feel like they are still cheering on their friends and teammates.’’

Dennis also was busy creating last year’s NCTTA Nationals promo video.

The Cornell grad’s really got a good sense for what it’s like to play collegiate table tennis on a big stage. He competed for Cornell’s coed team in NCTTA divisional and regional matches. Dennis traveled to Rockford, Illinois for the 2013 NCTTA championships. He pitched in as the coach of the Cornell women’s team swatting table tennis balls in the Land of Lincoln.

Each year, the NCTTA’s largest tournament of the year attracts more than 250 of the best collegiate table tennis players in the USA and Canada. That will be the case at the 2018 games near Austin April 20-22.

“Volunteers like Dennis Yanga do incredible work at the nationals and other major tournaments all season,’’ said NCTTA President Willy Leparulo. “We never can thank them enough.’’

Championship volunteers like Shelly Huang-Leparulo greets visitors with a smile at the registration tables. Media commentators like NCTTA Vice President Joseph Wells offer insightful analysis to make the games a memorable experience for the fans. The same goes for other hard working volunteers like Ed & Diana Hogshead, Chris Wang, David Del Vecchio, Michael Hillard, Scott Ryan, Kagin Lee, Randy Kendle (and many more).

There were about 75 volunteers helping at the 2017 championships in Wisconsin. But NCTTA officials say they could always use a few more good ones at the 2018 games or next season.

The 2018 iSET 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 iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, 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 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.

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

New Schools to Compete in Championships

Pictured above are members of UT Arlington Table Tennis team that will participate at the Championships

What do Arizona State, Bryn Mawr College, Brandeis, Binghamton, Santa Monica College, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Toledo, Wichita State and Wright State University have in common? They are all new schools to the 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships! Each with their own history and story to tote.

Binghamton features an Olympic Table Tennis hopeful for 2020, Kai Zhang. Binghamton University has never been to the National Championships and is poised with one of the best teams yet!

Another school sure to turn heads is all the way over on the west coach in beautiful sunny Santa Monica College in California. SMC is sending their top two players Indian International Ayush Kapoor and Italian international Tiziano Aiello. They are competing in Men’s singles and Men’s doubles. SMC is appearing for the first time in the College Table Tennis Championships this year and looks to surprise the draw.

Tiziano Aiello Italian international is excited about the event and their chances stating, “This is my second NCTTA tournament as I played for UCLA in 2016. It is definitely an honor for our college being at this college National Championships. Furthermore it is really impressive how a table tennis college tournament is that well organized. In double we might be a surprise. Playing with Ayush Kapoor, a 2450 long pips aggressive player, give us a unique game of both power attacks and slow defense when is needed. Thus our expectations in double are really high.”

Brandeis University out of the Northeast is very strong but no one knows about them and Team Captain, Brian Gao states “We are the underdog, but if some teams don’t take us seriously, there is a chance we can win” This is true in all sports and especially in College Table Tennis where the best of the best have congregated.

Wright State University in Ohio features two players in the event. Joshua Cabay talks to us, “This is the first time Wright State has been represented at a Championships. I Feel honored to be able to compete against players of this caliber”

Last but certainly not least is University of Texas at Arlington which is sending 3 singles players to this event 1 woman and 2 men. UTA as they are called features Texas Wesleyan Alumni, Yahao Zhang as their coach. Vikas Sagi, playing in Men’s singles and Doubles, has many to thank for the team’s success, “Yahao Zhang is the biggest reason for this achievement. I am very thankful for his advice and belief in us throughout the year. I would like to specially thank our sponsors Ready Real Estate (Khanty, Realtor) and HappySpin Table Tennis Club for their support. Also I appreciate Mr. Scott Ryan for being there every time i needed him for any advice.” Sagi eloquently states about their chances, “The odd say I am an underdog, but I believe low aim is a crime. I will be eyeing the title.”

It is a crime indeed to give up before the first point! Year after year similar faces and schools come in, but it is always nice to see the rookies come in and shake things up.

Look out for these schools and others at the 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships!

The 2018 iSET 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 iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, 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 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.

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

 

Coach with Recent NCTTA Experience Bolsters Bryn Mawr Team

By Michael Reff

NCTTA Media Committee

Temple University class of 2017 alum Daniel Moon is currently the coach of the Bryn Mawr women’s table tennis team, a group of players that have successfully qualified for the 2018 iSet NCTTA Championships in Round Rock, TX April 20-22. He studied biophysics with a pre-pharmacy path. In addition to coaching the up and coming Bryn Mawr Owls, he holds a position in the pharmacy division at a human services company called Merakey and work’s part-time at SPIN Philadelphia. Furthermore, due to being an ITTF level 1 coach, he privately coaches table tennis as well.

You might be asking how a male table tennis player arrived at coaching a historically all female (nowadays graduate admissions is open to both genders) college’s team. Well as in most good things in life, it happened with a little coincidental networking. Back in Daniel’s senior year at Temple, he was participating in the men’s singles regionals tournament in North Carolina. Since it was a long trip, he stayed the weekend, and although he is an avid churchgoer, he had to miss church that weekend.  A girl who attended the church and Bryn Mawr college inquired about why he missed church, and Daniel related the story of playing in NCTTA regionals. By chance, the girl said she oversaw the table tennis team at Bryn Mawr, and that the team was looking for a coach with more experience to lead the team. Daniel relates that he was delighted to be told this and thought it would be a great chance for him to bolster his coaching abilities, while also spreading the joy of playing table tennis to other schools in the Pennsylvania area. 

Ironically, Daniel’s experiences without having coaches during his tenure playing NCTTA tournaments have helped shape his coaching perspectives in a beneficial way. He says, “As a former athlete for NCTTA at Temple University, I can confidently say that my experience in NCTTA has done nothing but help with my coaching at Bryn Mawr University. During my time at Temple University... I was only able to qualify to the next level through the Men's Singles event. As I participated in the regional and national tournaments, most times alone because my teammates were unable to qualify, I would see other teams interacting with their coaches, getting crucial advice and tips on opponents' weaknesses, and I realized the importance of having a coach in such situations.”

Many table tennis players and aspiring athletes in general would have taken the experience of not having a coach as being a detriment to their improvement as player and future coaches, but Daniel has spun it into something productive. He has taken these years in NCTTA as teachable building blocks to successfully coaching the Bryn Mawr women’s team to a nationals. How is the team preparing for the big day? With lots of training, according to Daniel. “Qualifying for nationals as a first-year team in NCTTA brings us great joy and excitement, but also instills a slight fear and intimidation as we know very well that there are very strong women's teams throughout the country. Regardless, our women's team has been working hard to up their game, practicing not only during our weekly sessions at Bryn Mawr College, but also practicing at the couple available local clubs throughout the weekdays.” Congratulations Daniel on coaching the Bryn Mawr women’s team to contend at the nationals and happy ponging Bryn Mawr Owls!

The 2018 iSET 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 iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, 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 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.

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

 

By the numbers—2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships

50, 78, 39, 24, 15, 14, 31, 32

Prime numbers, numbers to the next lottery picks? Yes that is all plausible, but actually these numbers represent different areas within the 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships.

50 Colleges/Universities

78 Men’s Singles

39 Women’s Singles

24 Men’s/Coed Teams

15 Women’s Teams

14 Women’s Doubles

31 Men’s Doubles

32 Nations represented

Let the last number truly sink in. 32 Nations represented from around the world. Welcome to the United Nations type of sport where diversity is first and “being just one of many” isn’t really an option!

We have Kiwi’s from New Zealand on the Duke University team, we have a myriad of folks from our brother from the north (Canada) with the University of British Columbia and Ottawa teams and we have number of players from Brazil, India, China and of course the United States.

PHD in Linguistics, NCTTA Alum and former University of Connecticut standout Vanessa Petroj says, “as a linguist and a table tennis player, going to NCTTA tournaments was fantastic! If I hadn't already chosen a topic for my dissertation, I would have written one on the origins and different ways of chole-ing! Every tournament is a blend of cultures, languages, and different people, but crucially - we all respect and understand each other through our universal TT language!"

This “blend of cultures” is evident in the 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships. Just to name some multi-cultural teams to watch out for: Texas Wesleyan featuring players from (China, Norway, Spain and more) or Lindenwood University featuring players from (Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Guyana, Nepal and the Czech Republic). There are many others too, so our advice is to come check it out!

The 2018 iSET 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 iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, 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 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.

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

 

Round Rock Elevates Its Game for 2018 NCTTA Championships

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chair

Round Rock bills itself as the Sports Capital of Texas, but the wonderful city near Austin is much more. So is the Round Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Its friendly staff of leaders did a terrific job hosting the 2016 NCTTA Championships in the Lone Star State. And they will once again roll out the red carpet to 250-plus table tennis players, coaches, volunteers & fans at the 2018 games.

The same high level of enthusiasm combines nicely with fantastic hospitality. City officials are clearly stepping up their game as they help make Round Rock an appealing oasis to table tennis people across the USA and Canada. The NCTTA’s biggest tournament of the year runs from April 20-22 at the Round Rock Sports Center.

Nancy Yawn, CVB director for the City of Round Rock, is perhaps the biggest cheerleader for her lively hometown. It’s brimming with many things to do away from the table tennis venue.

“When the table tennis games are over, you’ll find some of the best shopping around with the Round Rock Premium Outlets, Bass Pro Shops and Ikea,’’ Yawn said. “Plus, fabulous restaurants await the entire table tennis family and team with ample seating for the whole group to enjoy.’’

Don’t let her last name fool you. Nancy Yawn is really just getting started with her zealous pitch for Round Rock. Visitors should experience a world famous Round Rock Donut, she suggests.

Barbecue sandwiches are another delicious way to go. Baseball fans should check out the action with the Round Rock Express. It’s the Texas Rangers successful Triple A franchise, the speedy gateway to the MLB. Who knows? Baseball legends like Nolan Ryan may be in town for a game at Dell Diamond. The season opened April 5.

Table tennis stars could check out other attractions in Round Rock as they take a break from their favorite Olympic sport. The Chisholm Trail Crossing Park might be the perfect place to go. Or try Round Rock’s live escape room known as Escapology.

Music on Main (on the city’s Main Street Plaza) is an option once players put away their paddles. It features live music from April 14-September 8. Pinthouse Pizza is one of the latest eateries to break ground in the city. Round Rockers and visitors love a slice of pizza no matter the occasion.

Round Rock is conveniently located near the state capital of Austin, that’s also home to the University of Texas. It should be a short 30-minute ride to the venue for UT Longhorns student-athletes who eat and breathe table tennis.

Round Rock CVB people are proud of all the positives in scenic Williamson County. It’s rated the 2nd healthiest county in Texas. Folks there believe in riding bikes, playing sports, having fun, and working out.

Table tennis players and fans are invited to stop by the downtown Round Rock Visitors Center to discover much more about the city’s multitude of attractions, shopping, and dining possibilities. Said Nancy Yawn (and she means every word): “Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you find local favorites and ensure a great stay!’’

For more information, go online to SportsCapitalofTexas.com

The 2018 iSET 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 iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, 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 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.

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

New balls lined up for next year!

Year after year we ask for suggestions for improvements.
We heard all your feedback and the League Rep of Directors are proud to announce a big change for next year!

Starting next year, we will be switching from the tradition plastic material to a new type of ball made of a synthetic polymer polybutadiene as well as hydrated silica, zinc oxide, and stearic acid to produce a super elastic ball engineered to match the bounce and spin displacement of the traditional balls but at a fraction of the price and 1000% the durability!

Dynamic Duos and Spectacular Singles Play for Pong Perfection

Pictured above from Grant Bergmann Texas Wesleyan Doubles pair: Jishan Liang and Feng Zhe

NCTTA is known for its team event, founded on the concept of team table tennis back in the late 1990’s. NCTTA has in recent years branched out to include singles and doubles events at their National Championships and it is going to be exciting!

Singles players had to get through a rigorous qualification season

(Division play-->Regional Championships--> to here at the Championships) 

Men’s singles is the top 80 and Women feature the top 40. This year’s championships is a blend of who’s who in college table tennis.

The Men’s singles number one seed is Kaden Xu from Pillar College. He is one the highest rated players to date in this competition, but he doesn’t have to look far for competition as former US Open champion, Jinxin Wang from Texas Wesleyan looks to make things difficult for Xu! Men’s singles has a total of 78 this year with a staggering 2/3rd of the draw over 2000. Our pick for a dark horse is Adar Alguetti (NYU) who has had a great year and is ranked #9 and due to surprise many!

In women’s singles, crowd favorite, reigning collegiate champ and USA Table Tennis women’s national team player Lily Zhang leads the draw. On her heels is Texas Wesleyan’s Yue “Jennifer” Wu who also appears with Lily on the USA National team. Watch out for another potential contender in the competition who is in the draw, former 2012 London Olympics US National Team member Erica Wu (Princeton).

Doubles is only available at the National Championships and is open to any players that have qualified in the team or singles event and are of the same school. Men’s doubles are the best 32 pairs and women’s are the best 16 pairs. There is no actual qualification for doubles, but the levels of synergy for this event between pairs is integral for success.  In men’s doubles look for Texas Wesleyan to provide much of the firepower as in the Top 10 they feature three teams! Women’s doubles sees an equal Texas Wesleyan presence with four teams within the top 8! This is what in sport jargon one calls a “deep team”.

Come check out the event in Round Rock, Texas on April 20-22.

The 2018 iSET 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 iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, 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 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.

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) https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Table-Tennis

Northwestern Ready for National Championships

By Michael Reff

NCTTA Media Relations Committee

Northwestern University is a model school for table tennis team building efforts and results. Just this last regional tournament at Lindenwood, the coed team pulled off a second-place finish by defeating formidable opponent Minnesota in doubles 3-2. It was a heartwarming experience and, as Northwestern coach Ned Leuchtner recalled, “The team came together in an embrace after and there was not a dry eye to be found among us.” This win qualifies them for the NCTTA championships that will take place April 20-22 in Round Rock, Texas.

Northwestern University has had a table tennis program for 10 years, the product of Coach Leuchtner’s hard work, passion and experience being a table tennis student athlete himself growing up in Elkhart, Indiana. “I went on to play in many National Tournaments, and played in the same collegiate tournaments that I coach in now as table tennis champion at Indiana University,” Ned reminisced. Before coaching at Northwestern, he taught table tennis to high schoolers. According to Ned, “I still am in touch with most of my former student athletes, who have gone on to good jobs and live in all parts of the world. They enjoy staying in touch with our program. Quite an honor for me indeed.” This statement epitomizes what college table tennis is all about: fostering athleticism and academics in equal parts.

Like many college table tennis programs among the NCTTA, Northwestern’s club had modest beginnings. For two years, they had to fight for practice times and space with the Ball Room Dancing Club in the Norris Center Student Union building (the author of this article can commiserate with this experience, having had trying times with cheerleading squadrons and volley ball teams in both undergraduate and graduate schools!). Mr. Leuchtner finally, with the accompaniment of the team captain, met with staff from Sports Clubs on campus, and successfully convinced them to move their practice venues to a better facility. “That was 8 years ago, and have not looked back,” Ned stated.

This most recent success at the regionals is due to several factors. One reason is because of the instructive table tennis coaching certification program that NCTTA president Willy Leparulo created. The first classes were conducted in September 2017 at Iowa University and Coach Leuchtner participated in them. He says that what he learned from the course “was to create individual goals for each teammate AND a team goal for the season.” Another factor for the impressive performance has been the team members themselves shining through in leadership roles. Coach Leuchtner cites graduating seniors David Lee and Eddy Lin as pivotal players that have exemplified consistency and tenacity in their respective tenures with the team.

In response to a question on how Northwestern was preparing for the championships in Round Rock, Texas  Coach Leuchtner exuded optimism and was goal-driven. “Our preparation for Nationals, has been to stay the course on our practice schedules and stay focused on the various drills that we do,” he said. Congratulations on a strong finish Northwestern and best of luck at the Nationals!

The 2018 iSET 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 iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, 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 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.

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). https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Table-Tennis

 

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