MC Table Tennis Duo Win Florida Trophies
June 16, 2008Mississippi College table tennis leaders kept up their winning ways by coming home with two trophies at the Pensacola Summer Open.
Ken Qiu, captain of the nationally ranked MC Table Tennis Team, received a second-place trophy in the tournament's Open Division in singles. A native of China, Qiu matched his tough attack game against some of the South's most experienced players. The Pensacola event is on the United States Table Tennis Association schedule.
"I'm happy to get second-place. It was a good time to improve my skills and get some experience," Qiu said. "This will get me ready for the next big tournament," the 2008 Life Open in Atlanta June 20-21. Played at Emory University, it will be a 4-Star tournament attracting some players from Europe, Canada and across the United States.
Andy Kanengiser, university news coordinator and MC Table Tennis Club sponsor, received a first place trophy for the "B" division at the Pensacola Open Saturday afternoon. The Pearl resident also competed in the tougher preliminary division for the morning session at the Fricker Community Center, a few miles from downtown Pensacola.
Saturday's tournament attracted dozens of players from Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, and as far away as Arizona. "It was a tremendous experience to play against some top-notch players in the region," Kanengiser said. "The Pensacola Table Tennis Club deserves kudos for putting on a first-rate tournament. Ken and I did lots of networking while in Pensacola."
Kanengiser, who turns 57 later this month, recently won a gold medal in the Mississippi Senior Olympics in Clinton for the sport also known as ping-pong.
MC finished in 14th place in April in the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association in Rochester, Minn. With Ken Qiu, Jenny Wu, Jessica Zhou, and Ryan Hou, all natives of China, MC topped such bigger schools as Iowa State and California State-Eastbay. MC lost to No. 2 team Princeton and narrowly was defeated by the University of Southern California, the 13th-place finisher.
The Baptist-affiliated university in Clinton is being asked to host the Dixie Division tournament for the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association in fall 2008 and again in spring 2009. Table tennis teams from such schools as Mississippi State University, the University of Alabama, University of Southern Mississippi, and University of New Orleans would be among those invited to the MC campus. Late October or early November are possible dates.
PHOTO (left to right): Ken Qui and Andy Kanengiser