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In this month's newsletter we've got a run-down of results from division competition from around the country, the long search for a site for the 2011 Championships comes to an end (for hopefully the last time) and a NYC-based organization is building excitement about youth table tennis. Read on for all this and more ...
Minnesota Hosts 2011 Championships
Championships returns to Rochester, MN after 2010 Champs in Milwaukee, WI
Rochester, Minnesota successfully hosted the NCTTA championships in 2008 and 2009.
Given that warm reception that collegiate table tennis players received for those two years, NCTTA officials are confident the home of the famed Mayo Clinic will be a great place for the College Table Tennis Championships in April 2011. In recent days, NCTTA leaders tallied the votes and picked Rochester over four other sites in Tennessee, Georgia and Michigan.
“We were very pleased with Rochester’s hospitality, the facilities and resources they supplied in 2008 and 2009 and we’re excited to return to Minnesota for the 2011 championships,” NCTTA President Willy Leparulo announced Monday Nov. 15. “We want to thank all the bidders for seeking this tournament that will feature the best collegiate table tennis players in the United States and Canada,” he added.
New York City Grows Youth Table Tennis
In the heart of the Big Apple, there are some positive efforts underway to promote table tennis among New York City youngsters.
Leading the charge is the American Youth Table Tennis Organization. The group is working with more than 300 NYC middle school and high school kids in a table tennis league this year. They have nine table tennis coaches working with school physical education teachers to spotlight their favorite sport. Last year, they started with 160 middle school students from a dozen NYC schools in a table tennis league. So as you can see the numbers are growing and that’s good news for us in the NCTTA. They hope to expand the league in 2011.
“We do seek to partner with the NCTTA to grow our sport,” says AYTTO leader Ben Nisbet. Once they graduate high school “we anticipate a number of our students will end up playing with NCTTA schools,” he added.
For NCTTA members, there are plenty of opportunities to serve as volunteers with the NYC-based organization. By becoming an AYTTO coach, NCTTA players can help these New York kids develop their game, step up their academics and encourage them to play table tennis as a terrific form of exercise. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, AYTTO is also looking for donations of used equipment and sponsorships, so please spread the word!
Simply put, the mission of American Youth table Tennis is “to organize, develop and implement innovative programs in the international sport of table tennis that promote the emotional and physical well-being of inner-city youth,” Nisbet says.
We know there are many collegiate table tennis players in the Northeast (and other parts of the USA and Canada) with a big heart who can help. And it also wouldn’t look bad on your resume!
Special thanks to our sponsors, Newgy and Killerspin!
NCTTA, would like to thank Killerspin for its support of college table tennis. Killerspin is the exclusive NCTTA League and Championship Equipment sponsor through 2011. Member schools just need to fill out the Killerspin Premium Membership Program Application to receive phenomenal discounts. Browse all your favorite Killerspin equipment in the online Killerspin store.
Also, special thanks to NEWGY Industries, for its continued support of college table tennis especially the Newgy-NCTTA Scholarship Program (see above). Newgy offers a great way to fundraise for your club and help out our sponsor as well by signing up and participating in their Newgy Robo Pong Affiliate Program.
Saint Francis Univ. Debuts in Mid-Atlantic Division
Chalk it up as a learning experience for the Saint Francis University Table Tennis Team.
The squad from Loretto, Pennsylvania is a newcomer in NCTTA ranks and was up against pretty stiff competition in the Mid-Atlantic NCTTA Division this fall. Still, they managed to defeat the Lafayette College Leopards of Easton, Pa. Not too bad for their first showing in NCTTA competition. The Saint Francis Table Tennis Club is led by president Will Judkis and treasurer Tom Szczur.
“We are new to the NCTTA, but love how the organization is run,” Judkis says. The tournament, he said, “was an eye opener for our school. We now know where we stand as a small school.”
He said he and other Saint Francis players learned quite a bit from other coaches at the fall tournament. They can’t wait to return to action in the spring of 2011. Strong teams like Princeton and Penn State are their competitors in the region.
Founded in 1847, Saint Francis is a Catholic Franciscan institution. Its basketball team competes in the Northeast Conference. Under hoops coach Don Friday, the team was tied for sixth in the league last season and is expected to improve in 2010-2011. We predict the Saint Francis table tennis team will get better as well.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire Launches Table Tennis Team
One of the new kids on the college table tennis circuit is the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the Blugolds are faring well so far in their first season of NCTTA competition.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire fields sports like women’s ice hockey, men’s hockey, men’s basketball, gymnastics,and cross country, to name a few. Its table tennis club actually began four years ago, but this is the first year they’ve fielded an intercollegiate team. “I was a tennis player who was forced indoors during the winter, so I naturally turned to table tennis,” says club founder Roy Thore Koch.
Wichita State Table Tennis Rules Kansas Division
Wichita State University’s basketball team is top-notch. In fact, the Shockers are picked to finish No. 1 in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2010-2011, according to pre-season polls. But did you know the Shockers have an awesome table tennis team, too? In the Kansas Division of NCTTA, the Wichita State Shockers are the defending champs and stayed on top at their recent NCTTA Kansas regional competition.
In a state that’s well known for its wheat, Wichita State table tennis often turns their collegiate opponents into toast. The Wichita State team this fall is led by a very strong female player Luwen Zhang and another tough player P.J. Phachantry. And that combo was too much for opposing college teams from Kansas and Nebraska. Only Nate Meyers of Nebraska managed to push Luwen Zhang to four games, but in the end, it was Zhang who captured the W for WSU.
Kansas came in second, with Kansas State finishing third and Nebraska in fourth, reports Kansas Division Director Zach Moore.
Folks who want to learn more on Wichita State athletics can go to goshockers.com. But if you want to get the best information on their table tennis team, go see them in practice or at an NCTTA tournament. They know how to win!
Mississippi College Packs Punch in Dixie Division
Elvis showed up at Mississippi College’s 2010 Homecoming! Really, the King of Rock n Roll thrilled scores of MC alumni at their 50-year reunion festivities. Stirring as much excitement as an Elvis impersonator during Homecoming, the Mississippi College table tennis team took their A-game to the Dixie Division competition on October 16.
The defending Dixie Division champs for two years in a row, MC finished on top again at the fall 2010 competition at the Baptist Healthplex. On the national scene, they are a formidable bunch.
Cornell Big Red Leads Upstate New York Division
Cornell basketball is real sweet. The Big Red machine won the Ivy League crown, advanced to the NCAA’s Sweet Sixteen and finished with a superb 29-5 season in 2009-2010.
The Ivy League school in Ithaca, New York is also at the top of its game when it comes to table tennis. Led by star player Jorge Escobar, the team sits in first place after the in the NCTTA’s Fall Upstate New York Division competition.
Escobar was undefeated all day in the big event with Cornell cruising to triumphs in A, B for the men and in the women’s division. In the most competitive head to head matches, whether singles or doubles, Cornell knocked off in-state rival Binghamton.
Simply put, the Big Red of Cornell is big-time when it comes to collegiate table tennis. The Ivy League school reclaimed its No. 1 position it had lost to RPI and SUNY-Buffalo in recent years, reports division director Jenny Wang.
Wang says all the teams welcomed newcomer Canisius College with open arms. Canisius “enjoyed themselves very much and were quickly incorporated into the family,” she said.
Newcomer San Jose State Triumphs in Northern California Division
Let’s stand up and cheer for San Jose State University’s table tennis team!
This NCTTA newcomer deserves a hearty round of applause after their recent debut in the Northern California Division. When it was all over, the San Jose State Spartans demolished the opposition. NCTTA veteran teams like Stanford and California-Berkeley all went down to defeat when facing the talented San Jose State squad.
Lindenwood Cruises in Lower Midwest Division
As expected, No. 2 ranked Lindenwood University easily cruised to victory on its home court in early November. Lindenwood’s co-ed team went 6-0 in team contests and didn’t lose a singles match to finish 24-0. Illinois captured second-place. Murray State of Kentucky took third. This year’s newcomer to Lower Midwest action was the Indiana-Bloomington. Also competing: Saint Louis University, Southern Illinois U-Carbondale, and Washington University.
Lower Midwest Division Director Randy Kendle tips his hat to Murray State. They are definitely road warriors. The Murray team traveled three and one-half hours from the Bluegrass State to reach the metropolitan St. Louis area for the regional tournament in Missouri, he noted.
Led by team captain Aron Huckaba, Murray State improved to 4-2 this year, up from a 2-2 record during Spring 2010 competition. Huckaba "has done a wonderful job keeping that
school involved and improving,’’ Kendle said. Murray State brought two female players to the event and hopes to encourage others on the Kentucky campus to develop a women’s table tennis team.
Thanks to all the Lower Midwest Division teams who showed up and knocked heads with a very tough Lindenwood squad!
Got an idea for a future story or newsletter topic? Email the NCTTA Media Relations Chair.
NCTTA Newsletter - November 2010
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