|Mike Bock sets up for a ball off the back wall while partner Kelly Russell waits mid-court in the final of 55-Doubles.
LAS VEGAS - Naty Alvarado and Mike Panko held off a second game charge by Tyler Hamel and Greg Tomasyan to take the coveted 35-plus title.
The most impressive win of the day came in the very competitive 55-plus final. Mike Bock and Kelly Russell rallied from a 9-0 deficit in the first game to take a 20-16 lead. After Russell lost his serve Bock double-faulted to give Danny Carrillo and Tom Fitzwater the opening they needed to take the first game 21-20. Emotionally and physically drained Bock not only recovered but took charge in the second to force a tiebreaker. Down 5-1 in the deciding game, Bock and Russell had just enough left to rally for an 11-7 win.
The Dunne brothers were on their game in the 40s, handling fellow Bay area players Mike McDonald and Lennart DeLaTorre in two games.
Jay Miller got his first national title by overpowering William Cervantes and Tom Martinez with Rick Anderson handling the front court duties. “I’ll be looking forward to some No. 1 seeds now,” Jay said with pride.
Dave Dohman was the class of the 50-plus field, teaming with Scott Rosenthal for his first national championship. “Now, I’ll be traveling to get some more,” Scott said. They defeated Lloyd Garcia and Mike Kearney in the final in two.
Vance McInnis and Ed Campbell are the new big, burly guys to beat in the 60s. “They were just too strong,” finalist Terry Nett said. “And, it’s hard to get around there with them taking up so much court.” Nett and Hinkleman made a run in the second but it wasn’t enough to force a third.
“That means a lot,” Jim Hartzell said of his first national title. And, it didn’t come easy as he and Jim Smith needed three long games to outlast Noel Olshan and John Nottingham.
The 70s was another marathon as Jim Economides and Mike Driscoll rallied from 4-1 in the tiebreaker to win 11-4. “Mike got 8 on his serve,” said Economides. “It sure helps to have a smart partner,” Jim added. Economides and Driscoll gave Ed Grossenbacher, who teamed with Norm Young, a rare loss in national masters as the only other one in the last year was at the hands of Driscoll in the National One-Wall Singles.
The Royal Flush finished up on Sunday as well. Greg Ramirez and Manny Resendez beat Mark Zamora Jr. and Eli Baraja for the open title. “Not bad for an old guy,” said a proud Resendez when he picked up his prize.
Joe Harris and Bruce Handelman led a strong contingent of Las Vegas Handball Club Players who made the event a success.