Greenville University gives many opportunities for its students to participate in sports and be involved in programs like Greenville Student Government Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and so much more. One program that people may not know much about is the Greenville University Table Tennis team.
The GU Table Tennis team has 7 members. They include:
Junior Mark Islas is the president of this team and senior Sam Alender is the vice president. From last year’s team, besides Islas and Alender, sophomore Matt Schroeder is a returner. Schroeder takes a role of captain this year because he was one of the original members. As the youngest team in their division, the GU Table Tennis Panthers are looking forward to dominating in the Lower Midwest Division.
This program had a great season, but Islas is looking for bigger objectives with the team they have this year. “We have a lot of talented players, and we look better overall this year than last year,” said Islas. “We have a lot of guys that have a good chance to do well in the upcoming tournament. Unlike last year we had many players who needed to learn the fundamentals, whereas this year we can work more on strategy during our practice sessions.” With a roster that has people who know more about Table Tennis, it shows that the recruiting process for Islas and Alender involved bringing in more people that have a certain skill set.
This team is very young and Islas has great praise about the freshmen that they have on the team. “The new players that we have gotten are all extremely good,” states Islas. “They have all raised the overall competition among the team as a whole. They are all great guys and we are excited to see how they are going to do.” Having great confidence in new players could give them a boost to continue getting better to help this already talented group of players.
For being a younger team compared to their competition, Islas has been very impressed with the team, especially Lou. “Randall has definitely been the guy that has turned the most heads during our practices,” explains Islas. “He is all self-taught and he seems to have a natural understanding of the game. He pushes all of us to compete against him and he is my pick for the guy on our team that will do the best in this upcoming tournament.”
GU Table Tennis had their first tournament last Saturday. Even though they went 0-5, they had a great experience for being a young team and their older players are still getting back into the game to show that GU Table Tennis is no joke!
Media by Ryan Taylor.