Table tennis adds four more titles at NCTTA National Championships
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Texas Wesleyan table tennis program added four more championship trophies to its collection over the weekend at the 2019 iSET College Table Tennis National Championships. The Rams won men's (coed) team, women’s team, men’s doubles and men’s singles.
Texas Wesleyan now has 73 National Championships in table tennis since the program started in 2001.
“The competition was extremely strong this year, but our student-athletes fought hard,” Head Coach Jasna Rather said. “Our teams turned what seemed like impossible situations into wins and brought championship titles back the Texas Wesleyan.
The Rams breezed to the title match in the men’s (coed) team bracket; each team match was won 3-0 until the 3-1 championship match win over Mississippi College. The program now has 14 men’s (coed) team titles.
In the women’s team bracket, the Lady Rams disposed of NYU 3-1 before taking a 3-0 win over Wisconsin. TXWES faced off against California in the championship round, winning 3-1 to claim the program’s ninth women’s team title.
“The competition is getting tougher and tougher each year, with players from national teams joining college teams,” commented women’s Head Coach Teodor Gheorghe, who is in his first year in the role. “The whole event is becoming more professional and better organized. The atmosphere is different from professional competitions though. Players enjoy playing, there is great sportsmanship and friendship connections between teams develop very fast in this tournament. I really enjoy being a part of this team and appreciate all the support from Texas Wesleyan.”
The duo of Jinxin Wang and Jishan Liang won a pair of straight set matches over NYU and Pillar College to start the men’s doubles bracket. The Rams moved to the final after a four-set win over UC Davis. Xiang He and Quingwei Sun of Mississippi College took the first and fourth set, but Wang and Liang won the fifth 11-7 for the title. The program now has 12 men’s doubles titles.
On the men’s singles side, the Rams held three of the final four spots in the singles bracket. Jiang Niu won an 11-8, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 match against teammate Wang. Jishan Liang and Niu made up the championship, with Liang taking the title in a 12-10, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 win. This makes the twelfth men’s singles title in program history. Victor Barragan made it to the second round of the bracket.
Wenting Zha finished runner-up in the women’s singles bracket after an absolute thriller in six sets (11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8) against Qiao Jiao from Ohlone College. Ana Aleksandric made it to the quarterfinals in the same bracket. Viyaleta Manastyrskaya made it to the second round of the tournament, while 22nd seeded Tina Huynh gave the 10-seed Congtian Xu a scare in the opening round of the bracket, going 11-6, 11-8, and 11-9.
Zha and Aleksandric finished third in the women’s doubles bracket.
The team will gear up for the International Table Tennis Federation’s 55th World Table Tennis Championship. The event starts on Sunday, April 21.
2019 iSET NCTTA national champions
- Coed Team – Texas Wesleyan
- Women’s Team – Texas Wesleyan
- Women’s Singles – Qiao Jiao (Ohlone College)
- Men’s Singles – Jishan Jiang (Texas Wesleyan)
- Women’s Doubles – Angela Guan/Ying Wang (California)
- Men’s Doubles – Jinxin Wang/Jishan Liang (Texas Wesleyan)
Other Texas Wesleyan medals include: 2019 men’s singles silver - Jiang Niu; 2019 men’s singles bronze - Jinxin Wang; 2019 women’s singles silver - Wenting Zha; 2019 women’s doubles bronze - Wenting Zha and Ana Aleksandric.