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.
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