The Texas Wesleyan table tennis team’s streak of consecutive national titles came to an end over the weekend.
Wesleyan had notched 11 national titles in a row before Sunday and a loss to Mississippi College at the 2015 TMS College Table Tennis National Championships in Eau Claire, Wis.
Wesleyan and Mississippi battled back and forth in the co-ed doubles finals. With the score deadlocked at 2-2, in the fifth set of doubles, Mississippi survived a championship point to win the final set 12-10 and end Wesleyan’s streak, according to ramsports.net.
Wesleyan head coach Jasna Rather wrote in an email that she is extremely proud of how her team competed in both the championships and through the entire season.
“The outcome of the final match was not as we wished, but I can only be proud of our team,” Rather wrote. “Our team played an amazing final match, and we were one point from the 12th consecutive National Team title.”
Texas Wesleyan’s streak of 11 consecutive national championships is one short of the University of Arkansas’ 12 in a row in men’s indoor track and field, two short of Trinity University’s men’s squash team, and four short of Methodist University’s women’s golf, according to ramsports.net.
Wesleyan didn’t go home empty-handed. Zhe Feng won the men’s singles championship, defeating Mississippi’s Tong Zhang, according to ramsports.net. His win marked the 14th consecutive time that Wesleyan won at least one championship.
Princeton won the women’s championship, while the men’s doubles title was won by Mississippi’s Cheng Li and Tong Zhang. Ariel Hsing and Erica Wu won the women’s doubles title for Princeton, according to ramsports.net.
Wesleyan Athletic Director Steve Trachier is impressed by how well the team has done year in and year out.
“I’m incredibly proud of them,” Trachier said. “Imagine the tournament going down to the wire, and losing by a match point, that’s just how close the competition is.”
Trachier also said that he knows that Rather will start a new streak next year.
Bruno Ventura Dos Anjos took second place and Bai Zhedi went to the semis in men’s singles, Rather wrote. Jason Plog and Emil Santos were in quarter finals in men’s singles. Zhe Feng and Bruno Ventura Dos Anjos were second in men’s doubles, Emil Santos and Zhedi Bai made it to the semis. Anastasia Rybka and Caroline Kajihara were second in women’s doubles and the women’s team was third in women’s team event.
“We have a great group of athletes who are great people as well,” Rather wrote. “I am lucky to have them on our team and we are looking forward to next year’s Collegiate National Championship.”