MC Table Tennis Team Plans February 22 Exhibition
February 5, 2014
Wicked spins, powerful slams and trick shots will be showcased when the Mississippi College table tennis team puts on an exhibition on the Clinton campus.
The February 22 event at the A.E. Wood Coliseum will be staged at half-time of the MC men’s basketball game that begins at 3 p.m. The Choctaws hoops team will battle Texas-Tyler that Saturday.
Standout players like Cheng Li and Zhiqiao “Joe” Xie, both natives of China, will be among the MC team leaders showing off their skills to basketball fans at the Golden Dome. The exhibition will last about 12 minutes before the basketball game resumes.
For the past two years, the MC team has ranked No. 2 in North America among the more than 150 colleges with table tennis teams in the USA and Canada. Mississippi College finished higher in the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association rankings than such schools as Princeton, Harvard, Southern California, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, San Jose State, UCLA, California and Rutgers, among others.
The table tennis exhibition is open to the public.
The talented Mississippi College squad is playing in its seventh season. Every year, the team has advanced to the NCTTA national championships. This year’s championship games will be in Monroeville, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh April 3-5.
“The exhibition will provide a nice opportunity for the Mississippi College community and the public to see our powerful team in action,” says Andy Kanengiser, the MC table tennis sponsor. “This will be a real treat for fans of this dynamic Olympic sport.”
Coached by Ken Qiu, the former MC table tennis team captain, the squad is getting ready for its spring Dixie Division tournament on Saturday February 8. The team’s architect, Qiu is a staff member with the university’s Office of Global Education.
Teams coming to Alumni Gym to battle Mississippi College and each other in the competition include Alabama, Alabama-Huntsville, Alabama-Birmingham, Tulane, West Florida and Mississippi State. The event runs from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. It is free and open to the public. In the fall tournament during the university’s Homecoming, MC finished first with Tulane taking second place and UAB getting third.
Later this month, MC will step up its practices to get ready for a March 1 NCTTA regional tournament in Atlanta. The winner of ten consecutive national coed team titles, Texas Wesleyan University will be among the schools coming to the regional tournament in Georgia.
Photo: A late January practice session at Alumni Gym for Mississippi College table tennis team players and coaches. Ken Qiu serves as the team's coach. Veteran players include Cheng Li and Joe Xie.