CONTACT: Willy Leparulo
PHONE: (800) 581-6770
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 4, 2013
Ready to Rumble in Rockford - 2013 College Table Tennis Championships
Teams Go All Out in Their Pursuit of the Championship Team Title
Getting to the promised land can mean a lot of different things, but in the college table tennis world it means the year end College Table Tennis Championships. Not every school is given this chance and getting the sacred invitation from NCTTA is always a momentous occasion for each respective school. The process starts in September and over 200 college and university teams practice and compete with their sights set on this very tournament. Every year a couple of schools experience what they see as their shot at the Championships. For two schools this year, Virginia Commonwealth University and University of South Florida, the wait is finally over.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has been an NCTTA member school since 2005 and has never qualified for these championships. Huy Truong, VCU team captain, proudly states that they are ready, “We have been playing almost every day with alumni still in the area and are excited at this opportunity.” Those alumni from prior years’ teams serve as mentors according to Truong. VCU’s first ever appearance in the Championships is also celebrated by their administration as their Regional picture and trophy is showcased in the main gymnasium of their school. “The general consensus is to go all out and have fun with it,” says Truong. Watch out for VCU’s top player, Tao Li, who is also one of the top contenders in women’s singles. She’ll lead the team as they give it all they have and go all out for a Championship title!
Talking about going all out, no one can deny that the Bulls from the University of South Florida fit that bill. University of South Florida (USF) is actually located in Tampa, which is more centrally located to the state. The USF Table Tennis team is led by Dave “the forehand slam” Llona, a player who gained internet fame with a couple thousand internet followers of the old Facebook group, back in his undergraduate days at the University of Central Florida. Llona, competing in his last year of NCTTA eligibility as well as completing his MBA at USF, is the heart and soul of this club that has never before qualified for the Championships since joining NCTTA in 2007. The Bulls have been eyeing a shot at the champs since last September says Club president, Michel Avey. “Things were looking up after we found out about former UCF players (Mat Delgado and Llona) transferring to USF.” The team was complete when Ciprian “Chip” Romonti joined the squad a couple weeks into the Fall semester. The “Romanian Sensation,” as Llona calls him, is a former Romanian international who just stumbled upon the club and completed the missing link for the USF Table Tennis squad which is ranked #15 in the tournament. When asked about USF’s chances in the team event, Llona states, “No doubt in my mind we will come in to the Top 5 and upset some teams in the process.” Llona, who is known for his strange yet effective “thumb” grip, is also very well known for his vociferous echoes of support for his teammates. “We are going to make some noise in the team event supporting one another, this is what college table tennis is about and we are ready to bring it in Rockford!”
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