Mississippi College Table Tennis Team Earns 2nd Place at 2014 National Championships
April 7, 2014
Mississippi College’s table tennis team turned in another strong performance at the national championship games in Monroeville, Pennsylvania to finish in 2nd place.
For the third consecutive year, a strong Mississippi College team, came up a little short. Texas Wesleyan’s coed table tennis team captured the national championship on Sunday for the 11th straight year. TWU players exchanged hugs and celebrated at the 2014 TMS College Table Tennis Championships.
“Honestly, it was unexpected,” TWU Coach Jasna Rather said. “On paper, MC has two stronger players who are good at doubles, but our players always push themselves beyond their ratings.”
The coed championship in Pennsylvania came down to doubles after TWU and Mississippi College players split the first four singles matches (or two wins for each team). In Pittsburg Pirates country, fans on both sides loudly cheered almost every point from the stands.
“I'm extremely happy and proud,” Rather said moments after her duo of Emil Santos and Yahao Zhang defeated MC Captain Cheng Li and teammate Yichi Zhang in doubles.
MC coach Ken Qiu and the six members of the Choctaws team were saddened by the loss.
“We did pretty good this year,” said Qiu, MC’s former captain who launched the squad seven years ago. “I'm pretty proud of the players. I wish we could have gotten the team championship.”
A graduate student in sports management, Mississippi College team member Joe Xie tried to stay positive. “There's always hope for next year.”
A 23-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, Santos was elated with the Texas Wesleyan triumph. “It's really nice. We worked hard.”
At the three-day event near Pittsburgh, Lindenwood University’s coed team finished in third place. Next season’s National Collegiate Table Tennis Association championship will be played in April 2015 in Eau Clare, Wisconsin.
Photo: Photo credit: Keith Lam