North Texas Mean Green Machine Debuts at NCTTA Championships

Team photo of the "Green Machine" squad (above)

by Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman

North Texas table tennis standouts will bring machine-like efficiency to the 2016 national championships in Round Rock.

At the 36,000-student university in Denton, the young UNT Mean Green Machine squad is making school history. It will be their first trip to the NCTTA's biggest tournament of the year.

Founded in 1890, North Texas is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2015-16.  So reaching that table tennis milestone at the 2016 TMS championship games is a nice achievement worth applauding.

Alan Chu, 28, a doctoral student in educational psychology with a concentration in sports pedagogy, is the coach & architect of the Dream Team of Teens on the Denton campus.

Chris Tian and Bryan Wu, both of Plano, Texas are each 16-years-old. Jack Zhang and Brandon Chow are both 17-year-old UNT student-athletes from Coppell, Texas. Three of the sharp UNT players have ratings over 2,100.

A native of Hong Kong, Chu, played the Olympic sport for 18 years. He raves about the accomplishments of his young players. Besides being talented with paddles in hand, they are smart, too. All four players attend UNT as students at the Texas Academy of Mathematics & Science.

While all four players grew up in North Texas, they all come from families of Chinese heritage in a country in East Asia where table tennis is king.

 At a school with prominent alumni like TV's Dr. Phil McGraw and the late singer Don Henley of the rock band, the Eagles, these young players are getting noticed at Texas tournaments.

North Texas plays in a very competitive table tennis state. The Lone Star State is home to perennial champ Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth and a strong University of Texas squad on the Austin campus.

But at the March 25-27 nationals in Round Rock, look for North Texas,with its mascot of Scrappy the Eagle, to soar to new heights. And given their youth, the Dream Team should be a potent squad that will only continue to get better for years to come.

 

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

About NCTTA

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

 

Diversity in College Table Tennis--A True Melting Pot

Pictured above are members of the Hofstra Table Tennis team Tanzim Bhuiya, Daniel Zhu and Columbia's Neha Aggarwal

USA has been called a “melting pot” which is a metaphor for all kinds of different elements coming together. This country has been built on immigration and this isn’t a political piece of any nature, but to illustrate the amazing reality of College Table Tennis and its diverse participants and fans and how the sport brings us all together through a common theme. 

258 Athletes representing over 30 countries across the globe including China, Canada, India, Bosnia, Brazil and everywhere in between.  No other tournament in the United States can claim such a diverse international presence!

Let’s talk about some of our diversity in College Table Tennis!

Ali Javaheri is a Biochemistry Pre Med student at SUNY Stonybrook in New York and is the lone representative of his school. Javaheri was born in the United Kingdom and lived in several countries in Europe before making New York his home. Javaheri speaks about his experience in College Table Tennis. 

“I am both surprised and happy that I see the level of the game in the USA. I feel on a good day I can beat some good players and would like to do my best in the upcoming tournament and am of course proud to represent Stony Brook.” Javaheri discovered NCTTA officials after playing at the Joola DC teams tournament in November and since then has made his way through NCTTA divisional and regional qualifications to these Championships.

Roger Rao is of Asian descent but raised in New Zealand where he quickly became one of the country’s star players at the tender age of 13! Rao is a freshmen now at Duke University and is leading the Duke Blue Devils with an unprecedented 26 and 1 record and the Kiwi international looks to do damage! Rao is 21st seed in Men's singles out of 80 participants and many may pick him to go far in the tournament.

On the women’s side we speak with Neha Aggarwal, who represented India in International competition for 15 years and now is representing Columbia University. Aggarwal talks about her international experience and the cultural fusion that exists in our sport, “In 2005, I was part of the Asian team for the World Cadet Challenge where my team consisted of players from Korea, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. My doubles partner was from Korea and we won the gold. Ever since then I have appreciated how sport breaks all barriers and brings communities together.”

College Table Tennis didn’t miss the mark here either as she adds, “Even at Columbia, our team is well diverse which is amazing. I also know a few Indians that will be taking part in the Nationals. I hope to meet other fellow players in Texas and enjoy the game we all love so much. “

This is a true melting pot in every sense of the word where English may not be the most common language spoken but instead loop, spin and forehand seem to be the vernacular of choice for these athletes.  

Come join our special melting pot 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

About NCTTA

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

Texas Tech Table Tennis Star is Talented Native of Sri Lanka

By Andy Kanengiser

NCTTA Media Chairman

Dilshan Sooriyaarachchi boasts the longest last name of any player at the 2016 national collegiate table tennis championships.

NCTTA leaders tallied an incredible 15 letters in his last name. It’s good enough to rank Dilshan No. 1 in that unusual category among the tournament’s 250-plus players. The table tennis standout notes his last name letter count is really just an average length in his native Sri Lanka.

When it comes to playing table tennis, Dilshan ranks way above average. The 27-year-old Texas Tech graduate student brings a long list of accomplishments to the March 25-27 table tennis tournament in Round Rock, Texas.

For one thing, Dilshan is a pretty smart guy. He’s seeking a doctorate in physics at Texas Tech, and that’s not easy. He considers the Olympic sport of table tennis to be a nice escape from his studies on the Lubbock campus. “It’s a great way to relax and definitely a productive way to spend an evening.’’

Dilshan imported his deep passion about table tennis to the USA when beginning his graduate studies at Texas Tech in Fall 2015. Sooriyaarachchi served as architect of the Texas Tech team, and successfully introduced the sport to the 27,000-student research institution.

 “Table tennis has been an integral part of my life and I believe my performance on the court reflects on my own personality and vice versa,’’ Dilshan said. “It has taught me many life lessons and given me so many opportunities - a chance to travel the world, build character and form friendships.’’

At Texas Tech, table tennis is eclipsed by other sports. Red Raider fans stay on fire for the Texas Tech men’s basketball team that punched its ticket to the NCAA’s Big Dance with a 19-12 record. It landed the Red Raiders squad an opening March Madness game with Butler on the road in Raleigh, North Carolina.

While crowds are huge for Red Raiders basketball or football games during the fall, Dilshan quietly practices table tennis on the Lubbock campus. “I love the sport and do not see myself parting with it ever.’’

The physics doctoral student brings solid credentials. Dilshan played more than 15 years of competitive table tennis and was briefly part of the Sri Lanka national team. He captained the squad at the 26th World University Games in Shenzhen, China in 2011. He also took part in the 25th World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia in 2009. He “retired’’ from play around 2011-2012 to focus on his studies. But now he’s back at it with paddle in hand in Texas.

Thanks to his help, Texas Tech’s coed table tennis team recently played its heart out at the NCTTA South Regionals at Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth. Dilshan qualified to play in men’s singles at the 2016 TMS college table tennis championships as March draws to a close.

Growing up in the Indian Ocean nation of Sri Lanka with its Buddhist ruins, rainforests, and the fabulous Pettah Market in Colombo, Dilsan Sooriyaarachchi is experiencing a different world in the Lone Star State. But the common theme revolves around table tennis. He won’t be the only Texas Tech student-athlete at the games near Austin. His Texas Tech teammate, Zach McNutt of Harlington, Texas, will volunteer as a referee at the lively three-day tournament.

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

About NCTTA

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

 

Regional Competitions Being Streamed Live (Updated)

 

2016 NCTTA Great Lakes Regional Championship
Hosted by My Table Tennis Club - Toronto, ON
https://sites.google.com/a/nctta.org/2016gl/video

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2016 NCTTA Northeast Regional Championship
Hosted by Westchester TTC - Pleasantville, NY
https://sites.google.com/a/nctta.org/2016ne/video

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2016 NCTTA West Regional Championship
Hosted by Silicon Valley TTC - Milpitas, CA
https://sites.google.com/a/nctta.org/2016west/video

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2016 NCTTA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship
Hosted by Triangle Table Tennis - Morrisville, NC
https://sites.google.com/a/nctta.org/2016ma/video

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From the weekend of Feb 20-21, 2016

2016 NCTTA Midwest Regional Championship
Hosted by Lindenwood University - St. Charles, MO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7pr_kPt-uk&list=PLzwXhRIfWesdm_8G7afX5xplOneBAheK0

2016 NCTTA South Regional Championship
Hosted by Texas Wesleyan University - Ft. Worth, TX

https://youtu.be/iGMO1StWFR4

2016 NCTTA Commentator Challenge Winners Announced

We are happy to announce that the 2016 NCTTA Commentator Challenge was a great success!

The winners of the 2016 NCTTA Commentator Challenge are: Bryan Song and Kevin Korb

The runner-ups are: Dylan Ley and Andy Nguyen

We are anticipating all four winners to attend the 2016 NCTTA National Championships, where they will join our talented commentator team and be LIVE on air throughout the competition.

UCLA's Isabel Chu Awarded NCTTA Newgy Scholarship

By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chair

A future physical therapist, Isabel Chu is a bright UCLA freshman who excels in the classroom and in table tennis circles.

Her passion for her favorite Olympic sport is through the roof.

“I love the sport of table tennis because it challenges you physically and mentally,‘’ Isabel says. "It’s a game that pushes you to think out of the box. It’s a game that teaches you to persevere through hardships.’’

Given her tremendous skills as a table tennis player since she was a young girl and her academic excellence, Isabel Chu was selected a scholarship recipient in December 2015. The NCTTA and Newgy Industries that manufactures high quality table tennis robots, is delighted to once again team up to sponsor the annual scholarship. In short, Isabel shines as an outstanding student-athlete with unlimited potential!

An 18-year-old Milpitas, California native, Isabel experienced much success in recent years with paddle in hand. In 2015, she was named a Bronze Medalist at the U.S. Open Girls table tennis games. In 2014, she was selected a Silver Medalist at the U.S. Nationals Junior Girls competition.

Her remarkable string of dozens of extraordinary showings in table tennis dates back to 2006 when she was a ten and under finalist in girls competition at the San Diego Butterfly Open.

On the academic side, Isabel signed up for just about every Advanced Placement course possible at Milpitas High. Chemistry, calculus, and American history, were just a few of her AP classes. She racked up an unbelievable 4.14 academic average at the school. She’s a physiological science major on the UCLA campus and on track to graduate with the Class of 2019.

Volunteer work is in her DNA, too. She’s tutored kids at the Milpitas Public Library in reading and math. She’s also served as a volunteer in 2015 at Mountain View Physical Therapy in California.

NCTTA President Willy Leparulo applauds her passion for table tennis and academics.

“She clearly stands out among teens competing in the nation’s table tennis world, and spends lots of time with the books, too. We wish Isabel continued success ahead on both fronts at UCLA,’’ Leparulo said.

Isabel Chu says she appreciates how table tennis opened doors for her to meet people from various backgrounds and many countries."Although we are enemies on the court, we can still be friends once the match is over.’’

Thanks to dynamic players like Isabel, table tennis fans seem to be growing on the UCLA campus. While it’s always tough to compete with big-time Bruins basketball, baseball and football programs, table tennis is gaining in popularity in the Los Angeles area.

NCTTA leaders applaud Newgy Industries for supporting this scholarship program for top-notch student-athletes for years.

NCTTA Commentator Challenge - 2016 Championships

NCTTA is pleased to announce the “NCTTA Commentator Challenge”. We are looking for talented people to submit entries for the chance of becoming a commentator for the NCTTA at the 2016 National Championships as well as in future events. The details of the contest can be found at http://www.nctta.org/doc/2016_NCTTA_Commentator_Challenge_Rules_and_Regulations.pdf

The deadline to submit entries will be January 11th, 2016. If you have any questions, please feel free to email marketing@nctta.org.

We look forward to hearing from all of you!

New USATT Membership Fees Go Into Effect On 11/15/15

The new membership levels are as follows (see chart below for pricing):

  • General Members. No ratings fees for USATT Sanctioned Tournaments, USATT Events (US Open, US National Championships), and/or USATT Sanctioned Leagues. USATT will continue to offer multi-year memberships under the "General Membership" category.
  • Associate Members. No membership fee. May pay on a per-event basis as outlined below. Associate Memberships will only be offered on a year-to-year basis, and Associate Members may not participate in USATT Sanctioned Leagues. (Please note that, in accordance with the USATT By-Laws, Associate Members may not vote in elections.)

The new membership pricing, which will go into effect on November 15, 2015, is as follows:

Membership Type Associate General
Adult 1-year $0 $75
Adult 3-year n/a $210
Adult 5-year n/a $325
Junior 1-year n/a $45
Collegiate 1-year n/a $45
Household 1-year n/a $150
Household 3-year n/a n/a
NCTTA n/a $45
Lifetime n/a $1,300
Tournament Pass (sanctioned) $20 n/a
Tournament Pass (USATT events) $25 n/a

Please note the following with regard to the timing and implementation of the new membership levels:

  • There is no additional fee for those members currently in good standing.
  • Memberships renewed or new memberships purchased between November 15, 2015 and December 31, 2015 will expire on December 31 of the expiration year. For example, if you purchase a new 1-year membership on November 18, 2015, your expiration date will be December 31, 2016.
  • You must be an Associate Member to purchase a tournament pass.
  • Ratings fees will be discontinued on January 1, 2016.

Set Your Clocks BACK 1 Hour to End Daylight Savings Time

Don't forget that most of the United States will be ending Daylight Savings time at 2:00am on Sunday, Nov 1st.

It's a good habit to change your clocks back late Saturday night before going to bed.

This is particularly useful for the NCTTA Divisions that compete this weekend, Sunday, November 1st (NYC Uptown & Downtown).

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