Pictured above are members of UT Arlington Table Tennis team that will participate at the Championships
What do Arizona State, Bryn Mawr College, Brandeis, Binghamton, Santa Monica College, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Toledo, Wichita State and Wright State University have in common? They are all new schools to the 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships! Each with their own history and story to tote.
Binghamton features an Olympic Table Tennis hopeful for 2020, Kai Zhang. Binghamton University has never been to the National Championships and is poised with one of the best teams yet!
Another school sure to turn heads is all the way over on the west coach in beautiful sunny Santa Monica College in California. SMC is sending their top two players Indian International Ayush Kapoor and Italian international Tiziano Aiello. They are competing in Men’s singles and Men’s doubles. SMC is appearing for the first time in the College Table Tennis Championships this year and looks to surprise the draw.
Tiziano Aiello Italian international is excited about the event and their chances stating, “This is my second NCTTA tournament as I played for UCLA in 2016. It is definitely an honor for our college being at this college National Championships. Furthermore it is really impressive how a table tennis college tournament is that well organized. In double we might be a surprise. Playing with Ayush Kapoor, a 2450 long pips aggressive player, give us a unique game of both power attacks and slow defense when is needed. Thus our expectations in double are really high.”
Brandeis University out of the Northeast is very strong but no one knows about them and Team Captain, Brian Gao states “We are the underdog, but if some teams don’t take us seriously, there is a chance we can win” This is true in all sports and especially in College Table Tennis where the best of the best have congregated.
Wright State University in Ohio features two players in the event. Joshua Cabay talks to us, “This is the first time Wright State has been represented at a Championships. I Feel honored to be able to compete against players of this caliber”
Last but certainly not least is University of Texas at Arlington which is sending 3 singles players to this event 1 woman and 2 men. UTA as they are called features Texas Wesleyan Alumni, Yahao Zhang as their coach. Vikas Sagi, playing in Men’s singles and Doubles, has many to thank for the team’s success, “Yahao Zhang is the biggest reason for this achievement. I am very thankful for his advice and belief in us throughout the year. I would like to specially thank our sponsors Ready Real Estate (Khanty, Realtor) and HappySpin Table Tennis Club for their support. Also I appreciate Mr. Scott Ryan for being there every time i needed him for any advice.” Sagi eloquently states about their chances, “The odd say I am an underdog, but I believe low aim is a crime. I will be eyeing the title.”
It is a crime indeed to give up before the first point! Year after year similar faces and schools come in, but it is always nice to see the rookies come in and shake things up.
Look out for these schools and others at the 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships!
The 2018 iSET 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 iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, 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 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.
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