The Mississippi College table tennis team is known for winning.
“I knew the Mississippi College team is kind of a really good team in the nation having a championship in 2015, runner up in 2016 and so on,” said team captain Harry Sharma Aryal. “The team has been really good so far. We have like really good players on our team from China, Japan, from Ukraine.”
Aryal said that’s one of the reasons he traveled from Japan to Clinton for college.
“I started playing when I was 11 and I’ve been playing since then and I’ve also been coaching and I love the sport and I love to teach what I know,” Aryal said.
Now, Aryal and the team are headed to Greensboro, North Carolina for the National Championship.
“Last year we got number 3 in the nation,” said Aryal. “We know the pain of how it feels by not winning. So we pretty much want it right now.”
In its 12th season of NCTTA competition, MC’s team has been invited to the Nationals every year.
“I think it’s definitely a pleasure to be one of the best,” said freshman member Vlad Totkalo. “And for sure, we’re one of the top 3 best teams in the country and we’re definitely going for the title but I feel like everyone is going to look up to us win we win it.”
And, for those who say table tennis isn’t a sport…
“You’re out of your mind,” Totkalo said.
“Most people take it as a garage sport,” Aryal said. “It’s just ping pong it’s not table tennis.”
“People just don’t realize how physical it can be in terms of lateral movement,” said Totkalo.
“Lots of game planning because we know the ball is really small and it’s really easy for the ball to move of spin,” said Aryal. “So we have to read the spin. We have to judge how much power we need to put on the ball to place on the table. We have to measure everything inside our mind.”
“People devote all of their lives into the sport and yeah, we’ve all been doing the same thing.”