New Colleges Debuting at NCTTA Championships

Pictured above are Liberty University's qualifiers to Men's singles, Josiah Boda and Messanh Ameduite

By Andy Kanengiser and Willy Leparulo

Out of 258 total Collegiate Athletes there are always “new kids on the block” to welcome into the College Table Tennis family. From big state schools to smaller colleges we have it all and with paddles in hand, players from schools like the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York to Ohlone College in California will compete in the NCTTA’s 2016 Championship games for the first time. The March 25-27 tournament in the Lone Star State also marks the debut of several teams from the Midwest, including Nebraska, Iowa and Iowa State.

On its Lincoln Campus, the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers boasts a new star table tennis player who traveled thousands of miles away from his native Kyrgyzstan. While his name is tough to pronounce, his table tennis credentials are solid. Bektemir Ysmailov is a former national team player for his country and played in the World Team Table Tennis Championships in 2009, 2011 and 2013! Kyrgyzstan or the Kyrgyz Republic is a landblocked country in Central Asia.

Ysmailov has a fun fact in that he graduated high school at 16 years old and this past fall he started his PHD program in Finance at the old age of 20! Ysmailov has the smarts on and off the table and is a welcome new addition to represent himself and his school in the Championships.

Another school making its first championship appearance is Iowa State State where Men’s Singles player Jikang Qu is a student. Qu will be the only Iowa State player to compete in the tournament.. He won't be "that" alone b/c neighbor school University of Iowa is also attending the NCTTA Championships as their women's team qualified for the tournament and their Men's team captain Arnold Kompaniyets is also in Men’s Singles.

FIT's women's table tennis climbed to the top after struggling for several years in Big Apple tournaments. Mandy Liu (the number three seed in women's singles) leads the squad. Before all is said and done, the FIT women will do much more than make a fashion statement in Texas. Ohlone College surprised people in California tournaments during the fall and spring, but this NCTTA West Coast newcomer is for real. Ying Wang is the team leader. 

Liberty University table tennis is alive and well after being away from the game for nearly a decade. Players like Jospiah Boda and Messanh Ameduite are two of the Liberty men pumped to be playing for the team coached by physics professor Stephen Kilpatrick.

Liberty's women's team recently placed first in the Virginia division tournament. "The momentum is still building,'' Kilpatrick said as Liberty prepares for the NCTTA's Big Dance at Round Rock, "The talent and dedication is there.''

NCTTA leaders are delighted to welcome all the newcomers to the national championships and will write about their stories once the games begin in late March.

 

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

Volunteers Play Crucial Role at NCTTA Championships

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman

Volunteers play a crucial role at NCTTA tournaments all season long. And that’s going to be true at the 2016 national championships in Round Rock, Texas.

“We love our volunteers,’’ says NCTTA President Willy Leparulo. “There would be no tournaments without their help. We are thrilled to see so many outstanding volunteers join the cause with us in the Lone Star State.’’

At the March 25-27 tournament near Austin, Leparulo estimates there will be a solid team of 60 volunteers coming from the Austin Table Tennis Club along with people connected with the University of Texas table tennis team.  Toss in 40 more leaders from NCTTA circles, and that’s a grand total of 100 volunteers to ensure that things run smoothly in Round Rock.

Volunteers come from Texas and from far away points. They travel from California and hail from New England down south to Florida. As they do every year, the delightful Iowa City couple of Jarol & Leah Duerksen will serve the NCTTA championships by staffing the practice table area for the visiting college players.

Volunteers do everything from operating video cameras to showcase the 250-plus players on live streaming to working behind the scenes at registration tables. They serve as game umpires, write stories, set up tables, sell programs, promote Round Rock & Austin area attractions and much more. Volunteers also want to make sure there are plenty of smiles on the faces of players and fans at the Round Rock Sports facility in late March. Some volunteers serve as subs to give colleagues a breather during the three-day event.

 “We are super excited about the 2016 TMS College Table Tennis Championships coming to our backyard,’’ says Marguerite Cheung, operations manager for the Austin Table Tennis Club.

The Austin Table Tennis Club in the capital city is stepping up to supply well-trained umpires. At least ten men and women have passed the umpire exam and will be available for umpiring duties. The list includes Glen Liu, Clayton Pavlicek, Dean Ginther, Nirajan Sivaraman, Stanley Tang, Phil Lahman, Kym Stasinowsky, Johnny Gamez, Rick Mueller and Marguerite Cheung. These are some of the many unsung heroes of the NCTTA’s biggest and best tournament of the year. The list continues to grow. University of Texas Austin which is a team in the event even has three of its club members organizing their troops to add more to the volunteer crew. Pulack Goswami, Sanjana Gupta and Chris Lee are leading that charge.

Countless volunteer hours go into planning, organizing and running the championships from one year to the next. That was the case a year ago for the games in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2014, Rockford, Illinois in 2013 and Plano, Texas in 2012. NCTTA leaders will look over bids submitted by an April 1 deadline to decide the site of the 2017 championships.

But first thing’s first. Growing up in Taiwan, and going off to graduate school in Calgary, Canada to study French Literature, Cheung is thrilled to see the 2016 championship games come so near to her hometown in Texas. She’s served as operations manager with the Austin Table Tennis Club since 2013. An ITTF certified coach, she’s passionate about the Olympic sport of table tennis. In the real world, Marguerite Cheung works as a teacher and Chinese language interpreter for the county courts and hospitals.

Cheung applauds fellow table tennis volunteers like her good friend Conrad Song of the Austin Table Tennis Club. “He’s our most dedicated volunteer in the club,’’ she says of the USTT certified regional umpire. “He’s the best and the kindest person you would ever meet.’’

The sea of volunteers coming from Texas and around the nation should make for a wonderful tournament, Leparulo says. In agreement is Round Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Nancy Yawn, who’s helping make the visitors feel at home during their stay. “We can’t wait to show the competitors from around the country our friendly Texas hospitality,’’ Yawn said.

While in Round Rock, visitors are encouraged to see the many attractions the city offers – from the Chisholm Trail to the Bass Pro Shops and dine at its diverse supply of restaurants, including barbecue, Italian and Chinese dishes. Round Rock sits 15 miles north of the state Capitol at Austin. Let the games begin!

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

Mississippi College Seeks to Repeat as National Champs

by Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman

China's Qing Wei Sun remains the newest addition to a powerful Mississippi College table tennis team that seeks a repeat as North America's champions.

Led by Coach & Captain Cheng Li, the MC Choctaws narrowly edged 11-time national champ Texas Wesleyan to win their first table tennis title last April in Wisconsin.

Whether MC can do it again will be decided at the 2016 TMS National College Table Tennis Championships in Round Rock, Texas. The event March 25-27 in the city near Austin will attract 250 of the best collegiate players across the USA and Canada.

It's was a remarkable triumph that stunned the collegiate table tennis world that Sunday evening at the venue at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as others watched the lively Olympic sport via live streaming.

A business administration major from China, Cheng Li is all business when asked about his team's chances of pulling off another big MC coed team victory in the Lone Star State. He's excited to welcome Qing Wei Sun to the roster. He believes the 18-year-old MC freshman from China gives MC another key weapon. "With Qing Wei Sun's help we will have more options than last year. He will be a great choice for doubles.''

Cheng Li and Tong Zhang proved awesome as doubles partners. They finished No. 1 in the nation in that department in 2015. Add Yi Chi Zhang and Sun are the MC group will be pretty tough in late March in Texas. Recently, MC finished in 2nd place in the South Regionals with Texas Wesleyan finishing on top on its Forth Worth campus.

Coached by Jasna Rather, the TWU Rams added two strong players this season. Cheng Li says "We must figure out a way to compete with them.''

What's next for Cheng Li? His MC playing days will be over at the conclusion of the three-day tournament in the Lone Star State. But perhaps he can stick around as a coach. MC leaders like Vice President for Academic Affairs Ron Howard made an offer for Cheng Li to work on his MBA and stay as coach for two more years. He is seriously considering it. "I would love to continue to work at MC.''

No matter what happens, MC President Lee Royce is proud of his team. Their victory as the No. 1 collegiate table tennis team in North America, he said, was "an amazing accomplishments and one that we have not seen at MC in many years. Against great odds and with modest support, they achieved success at the national level.''

MC finished No. 2 behind champ Texas Wesleyan for three years before making it to No. 1. Mississippi College began playing in NCTTA tournaments in 2007-2008. MC finished its first season ranked 14th in the nation, but made steady improvements to rise to 5th place. Added Dr. Royce: "We remain proud of all their accomplishments and they will always be No. 1 in our hearts.''

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

North Texas Mean Green Machine Debuts at NCTTA Championships

Team photo of the "Green Machine" squad (above)

by Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman

North Texas table tennis standouts will bring machine-like efficiency to the 2016 national championships in Round Rock.

At the 36,000-student university in Denton, the young UNT Mean Green Machine squad is making school history. It will be their first trip to the NCTTA's biggest tournament of the year.

Founded in 1890, North Texas is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2015-16.  So reaching that table tennis milestone at the 2016 TMS championship games is a nice achievement worth applauding.

Alan Chu, 28, a doctoral student in educational psychology with a concentration in sports pedagogy, is the coach & architect of the Dream Team of Teens on the Denton campus.

Chris Tian and Bryan Wu, both of Plano, Texas are each 16-years-old. Jack Zhang and Brandon Chow are both 17-year-old UNT student-athletes from Coppell, Texas. Three of the sharp UNT players have ratings over 2,100.

A native of Hong Kong, Chu, played the Olympic sport for 18 years. He raves about the accomplishments of his young players. Besides being talented with paddles in hand, they are smart, too. All four players attend UNT as students at the Texas Academy of Mathematics & Science.

While all four players grew up in North Texas, they all come from families of Chinese heritage in a country in East Asia where table tennis is king.

 At a school with prominent alumni like TV's Dr. Phil McGraw and the late singer Don Henley of the rock band, the Eagles, these young players are getting noticed at Texas tournaments.

North Texas plays in a very competitive table tennis state. The Lone Star State is home to perennial champ Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth and a strong University of Texas squad on the Austin campus.

But at the March 25-27 nationals in Round Rock, look for North Texas,with its mascot of Scrappy the Eagle, to soar to new heights. And given their youth, the Dream Team should be a potent squad that will only continue to get better for years to come.

 

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

 

Diversity in College Table Tennis--A True Melting Pot

Pictured above are members of the Hofstra Table Tennis team Tanzim Bhuiya, Daniel Zhu and Columbia's Neha Aggarwal

USA has been called a “melting pot” which is a metaphor for all kinds of different elements coming together. This country has been built on immigration and this isn’t a political piece of any nature, but to illustrate the amazing reality of College Table Tennis and its diverse participants and fans and how the sport brings us all together through a common theme. 

258 Athletes representing over 30 countries across the globe including China, Canada, India, Bosnia, Brazil and everywhere in between.  No other tournament in the United States can claim such a diverse international presence!

Let’s talk about some of our diversity in College Table Tennis!

Ali Javaheri is a Biochemistry Pre Med student at SUNY Stonybrook in New York and is the lone representative of his school. Javaheri was born in the United Kingdom and lived in several countries in Europe before making New York his home. Javaheri speaks about his experience in College Table Tennis. 

“I am both surprised and happy that I see the level of the game in the USA. I feel on a good day I can beat some good players and would like to do my best in the upcoming tournament and am of course proud to represent Stony Brook.” Javaheri discovered NCTTA officials after playing at the Joola DC teams tournament in November and since then has made his way through NCTTA divisional and regional qualifications to these Championships.

Roger Rao is of Asian descent but raised in New Zealand where he quickly became one of the country’s star players at the tender age of 13! Rao is a freshmen now at Duke University and is leading the Duke Blue Devils with an unprecedented 26 and 1 record and the Kiwi international looks to do damage! Rao is 21st seed in Men's singles out of 80 participants and many may pick him to go far in the tournament.

On the women’s side we speak with Neha Aggarwal, who represented India in International competition for 15 years and now is representing Columbia University. Aggarwal talks about her international experience and the cultural fusion that exists in our sport, “In 2005, I was part of the Asian team for the World Cadet Challenge where my team consisted of players from Korea, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. My doubles partner was from Korea and we won the gold. Ever since then I have appreciated how sport breaks all barriers and brings communities together.”

College Table Tennis didn’t miss the mark here either as she adds, “Even at Columbia, our team is well diverse which is amazing. I also know a few Indians that will be taking part in the Nationals. I hope to meet other fellow players in Texas and enjoy the game we all love so much. “

This is a true melting pot in every sense of the word where English may not be the most common language spoken but instead loop, spin and forehand seem to be the vernacular of choice for these athletes.  

Come join our special melting pot in Round Rock, Texas March 25-27th!

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

Texas Tech Table Tennis Star is Talented Native of Sri Lanka

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman

Dilshan Sooriyaarachchi boasts the longest last name of any player at the 2016 national collegiate table tennis championships.

NCTTA leaders tallied an incredible 15 letters in his last name. It’s good enough to rank Dilshan No. 1 in that unusual category among the tournament’s 250-plus players. The table tennis standout notes his last name letter count is really just an average length in his native Sri Lanka.

When it comes to playing table tennis, Dilshan ranks way above average. The 27-year-old Texas Tech graduate student brings a long list of accomplishments to the March 25-27 table tennis tournament in Round Rock, Texas.

For one thing, Dilshan is a pretty smart guy. He’s seeking a doctorate in physics at Texas Tech, and that’s not easy. He considers the Olympic sport of table tennis to be a nice escape from his studies on the Lubbock campus. “It’s a great way to relax and definitely a productive way to spend an evening.’’

Dilshan imported his deep passion about table tennis to the USA when beginning his graduate studies at Texas Tech in Fall 2015. Sooriyaarachchi served as architect of the Texas Tech team, and successfully introduced the sport to the 27,000-student research institution.

 “Table tennis has been an integral part of my life and I believe my performance on the court reflects on my own personality and vice versa,’’ Dilshan said. “It has taught me many life lessons and given me so many opportunities - a chance to travel the world, build character and form friendships.’’

At Texas Tech, table tennis is eclipsed by other sports. Red Raider fans stay on fire for the Texas Tech men’s basketball team that punched its ticket to the NCAA’s Big Dance with a 19-12 record. It landed the Red Raiders squad an opening March Madness game with Butler on the road in Raleigh, North Carolina.

While crowds are huge for Red Raiders basketball or football games during the fall, Dilshan quietly practices table tennis on the Lubbock campus. “I love the sport and do not see myself parting with it ever.’’

The physics doctoral student brings solid credentials. Dilshan played more than 15 years of competitive table tennis and was briefly part of the Sri Lanka national team. He captained the squad at the 26th World University Games in Shenzhen, China in 2011. He also took part in the 25th World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia in 2009. He “retired’’ from play around 2011-2012 to focus on his studies. But now he’s back at it with paddle in hand in Texas.

Thanks to his help, Texas Tech’s coed table tennis team recently played its heart out at the NCTTA South Regionals at Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth. Dilshan qualified to play in men’s singles at the 2016 TMS college table tennis championships as March draws to a close.

Growing up in the Indian Ocean nation of Sri Lanka with its Buddhist ruins, rainforests, and the fabulous Pettah Market in Colombo, Dilsan Sooriyaarachchi is experiencing a different world in the Lone Star State. But the common theme revolves around table tennis. He won’t be the only Texas Tech student-athlete at the games near Austin. His Texas Tech teammate, Zach McNutt of Harlington, Texas, will volunteer as a referee at the lively three-day tournament.

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

 

Regional Competitions Being Streamed Live (Updated)

 

2016 NCTTA Great Lakes Regional Championship
Hosted by My Table Tennis Club - Toronto, ON
https://sites.google.com/a/nctta.org/2016gl/video

--------------------------------------------------------------------

2016 NCTTA Northeast Regional Championship
Hosted by Westchester TTC - Pleasantville, NY
https://sites.google.com/a/nctta.org/2016ne/video

--------------------------------------------------------------------

2016 NCTTA West Regional Championship
Hosted by Silicon Valley TTC - Milpitas, CA
https://sites.google.com/a/nctta.org/2016west/video

--------------------------------------------------------------------

2016 NCTTA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship
Hosted by Triangle Table Tennis - Morrisville, NC
https://sites.google.com/a/nctta.org/2016ma/video

--------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------

From the weekend of Feb 20-21, 2016

2016 NCTTA Midwest Regional Championship
Hosted by Lindenwood University - St. Charles, MO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7pr_kPt-uk&list=PLzwXhRIfWesdm_8G7afX5xplOneBAheK0

2016 NCTTA South Regional Championship
Hosted by Texas Wesleyan University - Ft. Worth, TX

https://youtu.be/iGMO1StWFR4

2016 NCTTA Commentator Challenge Winners Announced

We are happy to announce that the 2016 NCTTA Commentator Challenge was a great success!

The winners of the 2016 NCTTA Commentator Challenge are: Bryan Song and Kevin Korb

The runner-ups are: Dylan Ley and Andy Nguyen

We are anticipating all four winners to attend the 2016 NCTTA National Championships, where they will join our talented commentator team and be LIVE on air throughout the competition.

UCLA's Isabel Chu Awarded NCTTA Newgy Scholarship

By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chair

A future physical therapist, Isabel Chu is a bright UCLA freshman who excels in the classroom and in table tennis circles.

Her passion for her favorite Olympic sport is through the roof.

“I love the sport of table tennis because it challenges you physically and mentally,‘’ Isabel says. "It’s a game that pushes you to think out of the box. It’s a game that teaches you to persevere through hardships.’’

Given her tremendous skills as a table tennis player since she was a young girl and her academic excellence, Isabel Chu was selected a scholarship recipient in December 2015. The NCTTA and Newgy Industries that manufactures high quality table tennis robots, is delighted to once again team up to sponsor the annual scholarship. In short, Isabel shines as an outstanding student-athlete with unlimited potential!

An 18-year-old Milpitas, California native, Isabel experienced much success in recent years with paddle in hand. In 2015, she was named a Bronze Medalist at the U.S. Open Girls table tennis games. In 2014, she was selected a Silver Medalist at the U.S. Nationals Junior Girls competition.

Her remarkable string of dozens of extraordinary showings in table tennis dates back to 2006 when she was a ten and under finalist in girls competition at the San Diego Butterfly Open.

On the academic side, Isabel signed up for just about every Advanced Placement course possible at Milpitas High. Chemistry, calculus, and American history, were just a few of her AP classes. She racked up an unbelievable 4.14 academic average at the school. She’s a physiological science major on the UCLA campus and on track to graduate with the Class of 2019.

Volunteer work is in her DNA, too. She’s tutored kids at the Milpitas Public Library in reading and math. She’s also served as a volunteer in 2015 at Mountain View Physical Therapy in California.

NCTTA President Willy Leparulo applauds her passion for table tennis and academics.

“She clearly stands out among teens competing in the nation’s table tennis world, and spends lots of time with the books, too. We wish Isabel continued success ahead on both fronts at UCLA,’’ Leparulo said.

Isabel Chu says she appreciates how table tennis opened doors for her to meet people from various backgrounds and many countries."Although we are enemies on the court, we can still be friends once the match is over.’’

Thanks to dynamic players like Isabel, table tennis fans seem to be growing on the UCLA campus. While it’s always tough to compete with big-time Bruins basketball, baseball and football programs, table tennis is gaining in popularity in the Los Angeles area.

NCTTA leaders applaud Newgy Industries for supporting this scholarship program for top-notch student-athletes for years.

Pages