(Picture above of Tom Feng by Warren Rosenberg)
The Men’s/Coed Team event is the title everyone seeks. Each tournament has the premier event and for the 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships it is the Men’s/Coed Team event.
The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) was founded in the early 1990’s with this format and structure in place for a men’s/coed team battle where both the best men and women college students play together to represent their school for the chance to take this title. This is an odd format for table tennis and unique to see men and women playing together on the same team, but this is the NCTTA way and it is our diamond event!
The top 10 in the men’s/coed team event is a who’s who of Table Tennis talent from former to current Olympians from the United States and other countries! Pillar College features former US Olympian Timothy Wang, and California Berkeley features current US Olympian Lily Zhang. And let’s not forget other schools like Mississippi College (the only school to defeat Texas Wesleyan in the modern era), Lindenwood University (a scholarship school in Missouri) or UC Davis and Northeastern that have very strong teams as well. NCTTA tournament director, Willy Leparulo states, “Literally there is no place to hide in a draw like this, everyone is good, wall to wall 2000’s.”
Lindenwood University’s coach David Cabrera says when we asked him if this is the best Lindenwood team yet, “I think our chances are very high as we have top players from all over the world here studying and playing.” Lindenwood is led by Brazilian international, Massao Kohatsu (2554) and the athletic wonder in Jeff Yamada (2462). Yamada was featured in this youtube video highlighting his athleticism to getting each and every ball!
NYU features two current National team players for the United States, Adar Alguetti and Tom Feng. Coach Yanjun Gao of NYU tells us about how their preparation is going, “I set up two times a week for our team practice and let everybody go to the gym two or three times before the national. Hope our all players will be fit at national.” NYU has an initial goal to reach semi-finals this year, but according to Coach Gao, “We always trying to win the Championships of course.” They will have some formidable opponents, but none so formidable as the mighty Texas Wesleyan Rams.
Texas Wesleyan University is no stranger to this title having won 13 out of the last 14 Coed Team titles! NCTTA President and Tournament Director Willy Leparulo always affectionately compares them to the “New York Yankees of College Table Tennis,” referring to the Major League Baseball team’s historic record of titles. Coach Jasna Rather leads the program since 2007 and talks about how strong the competition has become, “The competition is each year getting stronger. Coaches and athletes are aware of that, and try to keep up with good competition.”
The Texas Wesleyan Rams are always prepared and now they have more of a home field advantage being in their home state. Rather states, “It is great to be back in Round Rock since it is only a few hours drive from Fort Worth, and playing conditions in the gym are superb.”
Come check out this superb facility and tournament championships April 20-22nd at the Round Rock sports center!
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