Best Wishes to the Class of 2019
By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chair
Top table tennis talent at colleges across the USA and Canada shines at the NCTTA's championship games from one year to the next.
But after four seasons, their collegiate careers come to an end. That's going to be the case for several members of the NCTTA's Class of 2019.
University of Wisconsin-Madison table tennis standout Yash Shah is one of those stellar players. The 22-year-old senior from Mumbai, India will close out the books with paddle in hand on a high note.
The computer science major is battling for points and scoring at the 2019 NCTTA Championships in Greensboro. It was close, but Yash fought hard and edged a strong UCLA opponent 3 games to 2 as Wisconsin teammates cheered Friday afternoon. The match's last score was 11-9.
"I give it my best and fight for every point,'' Yash said of his style of play at the Nationals or throughout the NCTTA season. (pictured above)
After taking a moment for a quick photo, Yash Shah rushed back to root for his Badger teammates during matches with the UCLA Bruins.
When the noise dies down, and the tournament ends at the Greensboro Coliseum, it's a case of a job well done for the lanky 6'1" native of India.
There was snow and rain in Wisconsin Thursday when the table tennis contingent from Madison campus traveled to North Carolina. Four women and three men who love this fast-paced Olympic sport.
Prior to the tournament's marathon of games, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's coed team was seeded 12th in the USA. Others on the coed team are: Luke Zheng, Peter Yang, Yanlin Li, and Liren Guo. The Badger women's team was ranked fifth. All four members of the women's team are from China: Liren Guo, Yanlin Li, Yu Zhou and Kunlu Ma.
Yash Shah provided senior leadership for the University of Wisconsin. His freshman year, he joined three women on the coed team. Last year's national tournament was in Round Rock, Texas when New York University's coed team finished No. 1.
That NYU achievement stands out for Yash Shah because one of the players on the No. 1 team is Mudit Dani. One year, they played on the same Mumbai team. Dani, 20, a management major,is among the NYU stars showcased at the 2019 Nationals. No doubt, the table tennis friends from India will catch up.
"I look forward to playing NYU and the other top seeds,'' Shah said Friday.
Another career highlight for Yash Shah was playing the NCTTA championships in the Dairy State. The 2017 venue was the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.
What's next? Expect him to keep playing at USATT clubs. Yash also seeks to work for a tech company in Los Angeles.
Another ace who will soon finish his NCTTA playing days is Mississippi College standout Qingwei Sun, 21. A native of Hebei, China, he's been a part of a strong MC squad the past four years. The MC Choctaws coed team was ranked No. 2 in the USA prior to the Greensboro championships. A year ago, MC finished 3rd.
Coach "Johnson'' Liang appreciates Sun's dedication to the sport, hard work and quiet leadership. The 6'1" tall Qingwei Sun always brings his best at every tournament. MC won the 2019 South Regionals in March in Fort Worth with a narrow victory over host Texas Wesleyan University.
Some University of Iowa players are wrapping up their college careers this weekend in North Carolina. They include: Dylan Garland, Arnold Kompaniyets and Kyle Mikota. All three Iowa Hawkeyes will compete in men's singles.
The 2019 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and Sports & Properties Inc. and Greensboro 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, SPI, Greensboro CVB, 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 12th and continues through Sunday April 14th.
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