Did you know Virginia has a club table tennis team? Did you know that the team was actually founded in 1973? No? We didn’t either. So The Cavalier Daily decided it was a good idea to get the highs, the lows and the volleys of Virginia Club Table Tennis.
“UVa IM/Rec has a table tennis class designed as an intro to the sport or as an additional method to learn techniques and skills,” said coach Lewis Bragg of the Charlottesville Table Tennis Club, who also founded the University's table tennis team.
Virginia Club Table Tennis is a part of the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and competes against other schools in and around the area, including Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University and Georgetown. The competitions feature best-of-five matches, wherein each game goes to the first player to reach 11 points.
The Virginia club team is composed of both recreational and competitive players — organized by skill level into three different squads (A, B and C teams) of four players each. Those who choose not to compete can practice with the team for fun, but placement on one of the three teams is determined by a competitive hierarchy. Players challenge each other to move up in the rankings.
The group practices on Wednesday and Friday evenings. They are usually free-form, in which recreational and competitive members can “rally and play practice matches with whomever they choose,” said Rob Shimshock, co-president of Virginia Club Table Tennis.
University students and members of the Charlottesville community are welcome to come and watch both the practices and matches. They take place in the Slaughter Recreation Room in accordance to the division schedule.
The club's fall tournament took place last Saturday — the team beat VCU 3-1 and lost to VT 1-3.
“The tournament was a great opportunity for new players to attain an NCTTA rating,” Shimshock said. “U.Va. debuted several new players, including our first-ever C-Team.”
Tryouts for the group take place during the first few weeks of each new semester. Prospective team members must pay $20 club dues to compete in a tournament which distinguishes who will play on which team.