Jay Quimby of College of William and Mary featured above with this team
By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chairman
Chances are good that college table tennis players like Angus Fong of Yale and Jay Quimby of William & Mary won't ignite lots of media buzz.
A future physician, Fong, 19, is the only Yalie participating at the national collegiate championships in Round Rock, Texas. The same holds true for Quimby, the lone William & Mary representative. The 20-year-old son of a diplomat seeks to follow in his dad's footsteps.
Interviewed Friday at the Round Rock Sports Center as scores of hollow white balls flew in the air, Fong believes his appearance at the 2016 national championships will spark at least one story.
Angus expects the "Yale Daily News'' will do a profile piece, but it's unlikely to show up on page one.There's much more talk on the New Haven campus about Yale basketball. Yale's talented men's squad upset Baylor as they played in the NCAA's March Madness hoops tourney before losing to Duke a few days ago.
But the bright Hong Kong native isn't really interested in making headlines. Angus Fong just wants to build table tennis on the New Haven campus. "We hope to have a top team over the next three years.'' Yale's team advanced to the NCTTA regionals recently for the first time before getting eliminated.
While Angus looks ahead to better seasons in the future for the Yale Bulldogs, he's pretty bullish on the state of college table tennis in the USA and Canada.
"This is quite an experience,'' Quimby said as he watched the games at the huge facility in the city billed as the Sports Capital of Texas. "This is the first time competing in a venue so grand. It is the best venue I ever competed in.''
At the March 25-27 tournament near Austin, Angus lost his first two singles matches Friday against strong players from Lindenwood University of Missouri and the University of Minnesota. More matches, with plenty of spins and slams, are to come for the player with a 2000 ranking. For Fong, there are no Yale teammates to cheer for him. "It's tough being the only person to come here from my team.''
The 2016 TMS National College Table Tennis Championships are attracting 250 of the best collegiate players in North America.
Fong comes from Kong Kong where table tennis is king and he began playing the sport at an early age. It's not all table tennis for the smart Yalie. He's taking classes in computer science and psychology at the rigorous Ivy League school. Angus brought his books with him to the Lone Star State.
Jay Quimby, who squared off early against a UCLA player, didn't bring fans from his school in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. But there are a couple of familiar faces in his corner. Attending middle school and high school in China, Jay knows a couple of players in Round Rock from Northwestern and Canada's McMaster University.
An international relations major, the William & Mary sophomore sees Round Rock as a valuable learning experience. Jay also improved his game by playing at the 2015 nationals in Wisconsin.
After beginning to play the Olympic sport as a 9th grader in Hong Kong, look for the looper (with a 2000 rating) to stick with the game for a long time. Jay played tennis and excelled as a soccer goal keeper, but he's really on fire for table tennis. "I will probably play as long as I can - play for my whole life.''
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
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