Bryn Mawr Beat Penn at NCTTAs

This past weekend, the Bryn Mawr table tennis club team traveled to the Lily Yip Table Tennis Club in northern New Jersey to compete in the NCTTA (National Collegiate Table Tennis Association) regionals. We had one match versus Penn’s women’s team and we won, so stay tuned for our next competition in January in State College, PA, where we will be seeded!

I partnered with our coach, Dan, to play against a teammate and UPitt player for fun.

We’ve been practicing twice a week for a little over a month with our coach, Dan, a recent Temple grad who used to travel and compete in NCTTA events for them and is now a certified table tennis coach. We’re very lucky to have him. Practices sometimes include more club members, but we’ve been very heads-down focused on drills to prepare to compete.

Bryn Mawr Ping Pong Club Team picture. L-R: Natalie Stern (post-bac), Vinty Guo '20, Maggie Zhong '20, Coach Dan, Alice Tang '18, me '18, Alice Zhu '20.

Bryn Mawr Ping Pong Club Team picture. L-R: Natalie Stern (post-bac), Vinty Guo ’20, Maggie Zhong ’20, Coach Dan, Alice Tang ’18, me ’18, Alice Zhu ’20.

I’ve loved getting to know Dan and the rest of the team, as well as other club members who did not travel to New Jersey with us. Alice (above right of Dan, left of me) is a chemistry major and badminton player in my grade, and we share quite a few mutual friends, but had never talked until ping pong club! Ping pong has brought us closer together, introducing me to students I otherwise would not have met at Bryn Mawr. Ping pong also let us meet students at Penn, UPitt, Pillar College, and two Penn State schools this past weekend.

Playing with Pitt

Ping pong is a fun sport that can be played your whole life. It’s small, compact, and can be a bridge across generations. It’s become a stereotypical tech company staple, so I always look for company tournaments and teams when I look at offices. This past summer, it helped me get to know my teammates, coworkers, and other interns.

Serving in my NCTTA match vs. Penn

A PE teacher I had in middle school used to say “Ping pong is played by people with beer bellies while holding beer at the same time. Table tennis is an olympic sport.”

Getting low for a ball versus Penn

I’m grateful for the people I’ve met with ping pong, and grateful for the experience of going to the NCTTA regionals. The team has bonded over our mostly-shared love of K-Pop, Asian Dramas, watching Dan and some Olympians play, and more, and am excited to see what we do at the next NCTTA tournament in January.

Reaching for a ball versus UPenn

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