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Lindenwood University Bring Powerhouse Team to 2014 Butterfly Aurora Cup

By Barbara Wei | Jan. 15, 2014, 9 a.m. (ET)

LindenwoodAlready well known as a the team to beat in the NCTTA/collegiate table tennis world, Lindenwood University players will be at the 4-star Aurora Cup tournament in force.  With a team of no less than 12 players, the university squad will be vying for many titles this coming weekend.

Lindenwood University alumni and 2012 Collegiate National Champion Fernando Yamazato (2483) leads the pack as the 9th seed of the tournament. Current students Micaiah Skolnick (2351) Felipe Morita (2324) and Ahmed Hendawi (2320) are all seeded in the top 16 of the Open even at the tournament. Brother duo Micaiah and Gabriel Skolnick, who both learned to play by watching videos online and battling out thousands of matches in their home in Pennsylvania,  will be teaming up in the Open Doubles event. 

The Lindenwood powerhouse team also includes Austin Preiss (2208) from Colorado Spring, CO, who has been a part of USA Table Tennis since winning the under 10 national championships. He has even appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show alongside his father (Scott Preiss aka “The Ping Pong Man”).

Maria Castillo (2112) from Columbia, South America is the top female player on the Lindenwood Team and is seeded 5th in the women’s competition. Last semester, Maria took a week or so off from school to compete in the South American Championships. She will be someone to watch during the competition. Adding to the international nature of the team, Everton Wilson (1980) from Trinidad and Tobago will also be representing the university at this competition. Also competing for Lindenwood this weekend will be Matthew Bazzell, Luke Reft, Zac Spies, Sam Oberneufemann and Mackenzie Dilly.

With the team at Lindenwood training three times or more per week, and competing in 6 tournaments this semester, they are a force to notice at the 2014 Aurora Cup.