By Michael Reff
NCTTA Media Relations Committee
Imagine getting psyched for the pinnacle of college table tennis: the 2017 NCTTA champs in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. You’ve made it! You’ve qualified to represent your school, the #loudnproud team spirit and eagerly displaying school name and colors on shirts. The only catch is you are one of a handful of qualifiers known as the “lone rangers,” those that have made it into the single’s event but their teams have not qualified. How do you deal the pressure of playing for your school all on your own?
Being a lone ranger may appear to be a solitary test in mental and physical fortitude, not being able to rely directly on coaching or cheering from teammates. However, one common theme amongst these courageous warriors is that they are never really leaving the team behind. They will carry their spirit with them while battling it out spin for spin, loop for loop. One such lone ranger, Josh Schuback of Tufts University, expressed these sentiments about the upcoming NCTTA champs, “I expect to play a lot of good players, meet new people and just enjoy the experience. And of course proudly represent Tufts University.” Although he is representing Tufts solo this year, Josh had this to say about his team experience leading up to the national’s, “My team unfortunately did not qualify for regionals this year, but we’re bringing all of our talent back next year. We have some experienced internationals players and a few young players who are still learning the game, so we hope to do well in the future.” One can truly feel the loudnproud team spirit emanating from the Tufts freshman, and we wish all the best for his lone ranger experience in Eau Claire, as well as future team experiences in following years!
Another lone ranger, Nathan Hsu of the University of Maryland, has been in the sport since he was 9 years old. When asked how his team did this year, Nathan said, “Personally, I value a team victory over my own personal achievement, and I was hoping to experience the feeling of competing as a team. Maybe next year…” And if this exemplary selfless team spirit wasn’t enough, he had this to say about what he hopes to observe and experience at Eau Claire in April, “I really enjoy the feeling of playing on a team, and I look forward to seeing what sort of team spirit other schools bring to this competition even in the singles division.” With this team-oriented attitude even as a lone ranger, Nathan is channeling his whole school as he prepares for intense table tennis competition.
Finally, lone ranger Ramy Noseir, an Egyptian international student from Florida State University had this to say about looking forward to participating in the champs come April, “I think either I win or lose, it will be a great experience! And it will be great meeting all of North America’s top college table tennis players!
So, as you can see the lone rangers of the 2017 NCTTA champs are truly not alone at heart. They have enough team spirit to fill up the entire stadium!
The 2017 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Eau Claire 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
Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the TMS College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 7th and continues through Sunday April 9th.
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