Pillar College Celebrates 18 Years, Table Tennis Team Heading To National Championships

Ziran Chao, former player Michael Overstreet, Pillar staff Michael Shields, Coach Lily Yip, David DeRitter, Kaden Xu and Charlie Jiang. Not pictured: Coach Bob Stanislo. (Photo: Pillar College.)

By PJ Parker.

March 23 was a milestone birthday for Petey the Pillar Panther, mascot for Pillar College, and the college, both of whom celebrated birthday number 18 with a big cake and much pride.

Pillar College, on Apgar Drive in Somerset, is an independent, faith-based, four-year degree-granting private college, and is a member of the Association of Biblical Higher Education.

The college continues to grow in its offerings to higher ed students. Beginning in 2017, graduate degrees were offered, and 2020 will mark the inclusion of MBA programs.

Although not a typical college sports facility, in 2017 Pillar College began a table tennis team and in that first year, finished with an impressive fifth-place ranking with the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association.

In their second year, 2018, they placed fourth, and this year, they have placed second in the mid-Atlantic region.

The Pillar table tennis team includes two high-ranking college players: No. 23 college-ranked Charlie Jiang and the No. 1 college-ranked player, Kaden Xu, as well as David DeRitter and Ziran Chao.

The team has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $2,000 for travel and lodging expenses to the Table Tennis National Championship competition in Greensborough, N.C., April 12-14.

“We started at zero and even in the first year did really well, and now we’re heading for the championship,” said Bob Stanislo, Pillar table tennis’ head coach.

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