The Texas Wesleyan table tennis team took both the Coed and Women's team titles at the NCTTA South Region Tournament in the Sid Richardson Center on Saturday. A highly anticipated final pitted the Rams against the Choctaws of Mississippi College in a rematch of last year's NCTTA National Championship.
Competition was intense with the top three coed and top three women's teams earning an automatic bid to next month's NCTTA National Championships.
Last year, the Rams also topped Mississippi College in the Regional, but the Choctaws snapped the Rams' string of 11 consecutive titles at nationals by overcoming a championship point and taking a 3:2 win.
Saturday's contest was another thrilling battle between the two heavyweights of college table tennis. Texas Wesleyan's Jishan Liang defeated Chi Zhang 3:1, but Emil Santos dropped a 3:2 decision to Chen Li. Bruno Ventura Dos Anjos took a narrow 3:2 win over Qing WeiSun, but Tong Zhang defeated Jason Plog 3:0 to send the match to a deciding doubles contest.
This time the Rams took care of business with the title on the line as Liang and Santos defeated Zhang and Qing 3:0.
Earlier in the competition, Texas Wesleyan defeated Georgia Tech in the quarterfinals and UT-Dallas in the semis. Mississippi's route included a quarterfinal win over Texas A&M and a semifinal against the University of Texas. UT-Dallas knocked out the Longhorns and claimed the third bid to nationals.
On the women's side, Texas Wesleyan, UT-Dallas and the University of Texas earned bids to nationals.
Singles and doubles competition will play out on Sunday at the Sid Richardson Center. The 2016 TMS College Table Tennis National Championships will be held March 22-27 in Round Rock, TX.
Texas Wesleyan Table Tennis has won 56 national championships since the program's inception in 2002 including 11 coed team titles.