Dixie Division Table Tennis Champ Remains Mississippi College
October 19, 2010
Bringing their “A” game to the Baptist Healthplex, Mississippi College’s nationally ranked table tennis team finished on top in the fall Dixie Division tournament.
The runner-up Saturday was the University of Alabama-Huntsville that was rated No. 16 in National Collegiate Table Tennis Association pre-season polls. Other teams competing on the Clinton campus at the NCTTA regional tournament included the University of Alabama, the University of West Florida, Mississippi State University and the University of Southern Mississippi.
Last spring, MC’s team finished in 5th place at the NCTTA nationals in Wisconsin that attracted more than 30 table tennis teams from the United States and Canada.
MC and UAH were tied when the teams broke for lunch with three wins each. One of many events during Homecoming weekend, MC finished at 5-0 with UAH at 4-1. In one of the matches, MC’s top player, Yuliang “Bill” Cai defeated Alabama-Huntsville’s top player in three straight games by scores of 11-1, 11-1 and 11-7.
MC captain Ken Qiu didn’t compete so he could pass along his spot on the “A” team to MC sophomore Ben VanHorn of Clinton. In his first appearance on MC’s top squad, VanHorn, a Christian Studies major, finished with a 2-2 record and showed considerable improvement over last year.
In short, the tournament Saturday “was wonderful,” said Qiu, who coached MC players from the sidelines.
Others putting in strong performances for MC included Zhicheng “Johnson” Liang, Lishun Lu and newcomer Yang Yu, all natives of China and students in the School of Business.
MC will host the spring Dixie Division tournament at the Baptist Healthplex Feb. 19. A win there will send Mississippi College back to the Nationals for the 4th season in a row. In the U.S. and Canada, more than 150 colleges and universities field table tennis teams.