Pictured above Connie Chen (Cornell) and Judy Chen (Coach of UT Austin) and the Skolnick brothers (Lindenwood)
By Willy Leparulo
NCTTA Media Committee
We have had in the past, brothers and sisters and even the most famous brother and sister combination in Adam Hugh (Princeton) and Judy Hugh (Rutgers). This year however what is interesting is that we have 6 pairs of siblings (that we know of) at the 2016 TMS College Table Tennis Championships!
Gabriel and Micaiah Skolnick are both players for the strong Lindenwood Table Tennis scholarship program. The brothers also seem to share the same profession, resident directors in University Housing and of course they share competitive drive in Table Tennis. Micaiah says about their competitive spirit, “When we play against each other we fight to the death!”
As it should be! The duo is teamed up in the Men’s Doubles competition as the number 12 seed out of 32 and are quite a potent couple despite having been self taught have both reached high levels in the sport!
Another brother/brother combo is out of New York with Columbia’s Kung brothers, Justin and Nathan. They both play on the same team, but oddly enough they have never had the chance to play doubles, but are providing the adequate “punch” that the Columbia team will need in this tough Collegiate Competition.
We have a sister/sister combination with Judy Chen, ex UT Austin graduate and now head coach and Connie Chen current Cornell University player. UT Austin’s head coach says, “It’s kind of a mini family reunion as I only see her during winter and summer break.” Judy is now on the other side of the table as coach for the UT Austin team. Question is will Judy coach against her sister? Come to the tournament and see!
This year we have a couple brother/sister combinations as well. Patrick Wu (Coach)at NYU and sister Alison Wu (player) from Columbia will see each other. Also from the Northeast is Anne and Charles Deng are representing themselves and their respective schools (Harvard and Brown) at the College Table Tennis Championships. According to Anne, “It’ll be a complete family reunion” Deng family is from Houston just two hours away and they will be coming to watch!
Also Nathaniel Chu and Isabel Chu from UCLA are at the tournament. Isabel Chu if you recall was the winner of the NCTTA Newgy Scholarship earlier this year. Isabel says about College Table Tennis, “Growing up, there were many Saturdays spent watching the Divisionals and Regional Competitions at my local clubs. The Atmosphere of a collegiate tournament is different from others with so much team spirit in every game, point. I knew then that competing in college was something I really wanted to do.” Chu will experience #loudnproud first hand!
Family love and pong love two bonds that can’t be broken and will be showcased at the 2016 TMS College Table Tennis Championships in Round Rock, Texas March 25-27th.
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