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April 4, 2013
Best of the Best Coming to Rockford, Illinois - 2013 College Table Tennis Championships
Athletes from 50 Different Colleges Aiming for Championship Titles
April is the time when College Table Tennis Athletes from all over North America make the trek to battle for the prize of a Championship title. Scholarship schools, non-scholarship schools, American schools, Canadian schools, four-year schools and two-year schools will send their respective players to Rockford, Illinois with title hopes in mind. Nearly 250 athletes representing more than 50 different colleges and universities have booked their tickets to Rockford, Illinois for the National Championships on April 12-14.
Last year’s tournament featured Mississippi College defeating Lindenwood University in the team semifinal, marking the first time a non-scholarship school defeated a scholarship school in co-ed competition. Mississippi College eventually lost to the juggernaut of college table tennis in Texas Wesleyan University, but perhaps had foreshadowed something to come in the future. The future is now, and we look towards yet another Championships where one is truly surrounded by the best of the best.
Men’s singles features 75 players from around the USA and Canada. These players include former internationals from Mexico, China, India, Brazil, Vietnam, Romania, Dominican Republic, Canada, Thailand, and the United States just to name a few. Joe Wells, NCTTA Vice President states, “This year’s tournament is like a who’s who of Olympic level talent.” Truly, the standard of play will be very high in Rockford.
Women’s singles features 37 players also from a variety of international origins, and unlike last year, we can’t pick out exactly who the top contender is. Wells chimes in, “Jiaqi Zheng last year was hands down the front runner, but this year in Regionals she lost to Brana (Vlasic), so I can only imagine that this will open up the women’s game this year to have last year’s champ already lose in Regional play.”
The Men’s/Coed and Women’s Team Championships are probably the most sought-after titles, as the team event brings together every member of the school’s squad. Wells, who serves as NCTTA’s play by play commentator on the live stream, states, “The decibel level increases two fold during the team events making it into an atmosphere you would see in any kind of mainstream college sport competition like the NCAA sweet 16 basketball tournament.” Table tennis may not be mainstream yet in the USA, but you wouldn’t know it from these collegiate athletes as their shouts and cries for support and jubilation are just as strong and passionate as in any other sporting competition.
Texas Wesleyan University is yet again are seeded #1 in the Men’s/Coed Team competition, but just barely as there is a strong group of schools right behind them.
On the women’s side, the surprise #1 seed is the University of California-Berkeley, but as with the men, don’t expect them to run away with the title as Ottawa and Texas Wesleyan are right on their heels.
Rest assured that anything can happen in sport and certainly that is no difference in college table tennis.
The 2013 College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Rockford Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and is one of the most competitive 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 Newgy Industries, Butterfly, PR etc. Rockford Table Tennis Club, Fitzgerald Equipment, Rockford Park District.
The full list of participants and seeds can be found here: http://www.nctta.org/champs/2013/news.html
Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the 2013 College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th at the Forest City Tennis Center in Rockford, Illinois.
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