Games & Tournaments

67th USHA National Three-Wall Championships

MAUMEE, Ohio --  There's a new rivalry brewing in Women's Three-Wall!  Defending champ Hilary Rushe and challenger Ashley Moler thrilled the Labor Day crowd on hand as well as the throng of online viewers to one of the most exciting Women's Open finals in recent years.  While Rushe successfully defended her crown by edging Moler 16-21, 21-1, 11-10.  You can still watch this and other matches from Toledo on the U.S. Handball YouTube Channel HERE.
     Hoping to unseat the defending champ, Moler forced the action in game one, delivering punishing power shots and pushing serves "out-the-door" for aces to reach a 20-12 lead.  With confidence running high, Moler appeared to have the first game in hand, but Rushe battled back with a four-point run before missing a near-kill only inches from the crack.  That late run set the tone for the second game, and Rushe answered Moler's challenge with purpose and force behind her shots. 
     Moler took note, "[Rushe] definitely started hitting the ball harder and playing more aggressively in that second game."  While Moler didn't let up, Rushe made sure the match would go to a third set.  In the tiebreaker, the two played to a stalemate as each had an opportunity for match point at 10-10.  Moler dove at a potential championship point, just missing a rekill.  With both players playing to their limit and with bloodied knees, Moler couldn't return Rushe's deep serve to the left and conceded match point.  As the two players completed a post-match hug and congratulations, it was obvious the crowd appreciated the effort and wanted more.  This possible "rivalry" stays between the court lines, as the two opponents paired to win the Women's Doubles to complete Rushe's Three-Wall Nationals slam. 
Men's Open Three-Wall Big Ball Doubles.
     Labor Day ushered the conclusion of the Three-Wall Nationals with a number of doubles finals.  In Men's Open Three-Wall Big Ball Doubles,  Braulio Ruiz and Carlos Lemus struggled early to keep pace with New York's Chris Miranda and Allan Sanchez but ultimately won the title, 14-21, 21-2, 11-6.  Sanchez and Miranda both dominated front court play, building an early lead and capitalizing on their opponent's mistakes.  While Ruiz and Lemus were frustrated early-on, they settled in nicely to start the second game building a big 16-1 lead as Ruiz caught fire-ending rallies with kills.  Forcing most of their serves deep and off the walls, Ruiz and Lemus continued to keep their opponents deep and from making plays in the front court.  The second game success carried over into the tiebreaker, although Sanchez and Miranda made adjustments in the tiebreaker, they only managed six points after falling behind early. 
     In Men's Open Three-Wall Small Ball Doubles, Marcos Chavez and Sean Lenning earned another title by holding off a second-game surge from Tyree and Jurell Bastidas to win 21-9, 21-19. The pair showed why they're the best doubles team in three-wall, as Chavez jumped all over their opponent's shots with rekills while Lenning unleashed his lethal service game.  The Bastidas brothers pressed hard in the second to force a tiebreaker as they maintained a lead at 19-17 before running into a spot of bad luck.  Tyree's first serve went into the floor followed by a Chavez shot that went just beyond Jurell's reach.  A Chavez kill would tie the score at 19 before the champions would win match point, drawing a celebratory shout and a ball-toss by Chavez.  The win sealed a slam for both:  Lenning in the Men's Open, Chavez in the Masters and Open Doubles. 
Chris Miranda steps into a shot in the Men's Wallball Doubles final.

     In Men's Open Wallball Doubles, Chris Miranda and Allan Sanchez played mistake-free handball, showing the three-wall crowd the fast-paced close action of Wallball doubles.  Playing against the Bastidas brothers, who had just finished the Three-Wall final moments before, Miranda and Sanchez didn't show any mercy en route to a two-game 21-6, 21-6 win.   
  Watch the streaming video of the matches on the United States Handball Association's Facebook Page HERE.
  See results and draws HERE.
 
 

Sean Lenning chases down a deep return in the Men's Open Singles Final.
MAUMEE, Ohio --  Championship Sunday brought warm temps and clear skies, making the ideal conditions for all players competing on the courts at the Lucas County Rec Center.  Three-Wall Great Vic Herskowitz now has company on the all-time list as Sean Lenning won his 9th Three-Wall Singles crown defeating Tyree Bastidas, 21-4, 21-6.  While Bastidas showed tremendous athleticism that entertained crowds all week, he didn't have an answer to his opponent's devastating service game.  Lenning continuously uncorked a lethal low driving serve to the right that seemed almost nonreturnable.  The strong serve and uncanny court sense allowed Lenning to run away with big leads in each game, and a right-handed kill in the right corner sealed his ninth title.  Watch the complete match on the United States Handball Association's Facebook Page HERE.
     In Women's Open singles action, Hillary Rushe punched her ticket to the final and a chance to defend her title with a two-game win over Kristen Hughes of Texas, 21-5, 21-7.  A confident Ashley Moler delivered timely serves and passes in stopping nine-time champion Megan Dorneker in the semifinals.  Using the simple formula of driving her opponent deep and fly-killing returns, Moler stayed in control, winning 21-11, 21-8 to earn a rematch against Rushe.  "I've been playing a lot in Tucson, and it's definitely helped my game." Moler said post-match.   Watch the Facebook Live stream of the Women's Open Singles final and more tomorrow (Monday) at 9 a.m. (Eastern). 
  See today's results, tomorrow's match-ups and draws HERE.

Jurell Bastidas punches a ball to the ceiling against Sean Lenning in the semifinals.
MAUMEE, Ohio -- For the fourth consecutive year, Sean Lenning and Tyree Bastidas will face each other in the Men's Open Singles final.  Both players appeared to be pacing themselves in the matches leading up to their annual showdown, but in the semifinals, each player turned up the intensity.  
     The day's first semifinal, Lenning put together an amazing "serve-and-shoot" clinic stopping Jurell Bastidas in two games, 21-5, 21-2.  In the second semifinal, Tyree Bastidas held Dane Szatskowski at bay by turning in two impressive 21-14, 21-15 games.  "He played great, plus he just so fast." said Szatkowski post-match.  Tomorrow's final match will be filmed by Buckeye Cable Sports Network.  Also watch for live stream option on Facebook at Noon (Eastern).  
     In Women's Open Singles semifinals action, defending champion Hillary Rushe will face off against Kristen Hughes and Megan Dorneker will match-up against Ashley Moler.  
     Congrats to the following age-division National titles winners from Saturday:  
     Masters (40-plus):  Kendall Lewis
     Masters B (40-plus): Junior Bermudez
     Golden B (50-plus):  Tim Thompson
     Veteran Golden (55-plus):  Matthew Osburn
     Super Masters (60-plus):  Marc Penick
     Diamond Masters (70-plus):  Rick Graham
     Veteran Diamond Masters (75-plus):  Norm Young
     See today's results, tomorrow's match-ups and draws HERE.

Dane Szatkowski shoots against Braulio Ruiz in the Men's Open Quarterfinals.  
MAUMEE, Ohio -- Tiebreakers ruled the outcome of many matches on the second day of play at the 67th USHA National Three-Wall Championships.  In Men's Open singles, many fans cleared the stands thinking Dane Szatkowski's run would end in the quarterfinals to Braulio Ruiz.  Losing 11-21 and down 17-13 in the second, the match appeared to be wrapping, but impossible situations are exactly where Szatkowski thrives.  Fighting off match point, Szatkowski took the second game, 21-20.  In the tiebreaker, Szatkowski's serve started heating up, but Ruiz delivered a flat rollout to even the score at 5-5 to force a Szatkowski time out.  When play resumed, Szatkowski completed a 6-2 run, only yielding a side out and two points before acing match point.  Szatkowski will meet Tyree Bastidas in Saturday's semifinal. 
     In the other half of the draw, Marco Lemus and Jurell Bastidas delivered the next thriller.  After a big 21-6 game one victory, it seemed Bastidas would walk into the semis.  But Lemus battled back in the second, holding off match point and finishing a 21-20 win to earn a third game.  The tiebreaker was the same tense affair, with both players trading rallies and each having the chance to move onto the semifinals.  Bastidas' experience proved to be the deciding factor as he scored the final point.  Bastidas will face Sean Lenning in the other semifinal. 
     See results 
HERE.
 

Ricardo Palma shoots against Dan Valera in the Men's A Singles.
 
MAUMEE, Ohio -- The 67th USHA National Three-Wall Championships kicked off under some cloud cover on a cool Thursday at the Lucas County Rec Center.  While most first-day first round contests can be mismatches,there were a few exciting 11-10 tiebreaker finishes.  In Men's Open Singles action, Oregon's Cody Townsend, making his first Three-Wall Nationals appearance, held off match point from Toledo's Tyler Stevens to regain the serve and score the decisive point to earn the victory. 
     In other first round action, Braulio Ruiz bounced Anthony Collado in two games, 21-10, 21-3.  Dane Szatkowski's experience was on display against Canadian junior phenom Ivan Burgos as the Chicago native ran away with a 21-1, 21-11 victory.  Marco Lemus stopped Matthew Chu, 21-14, 21-6 , while Jurell Bastidas moved past Ryan Bowler, 21-9, 21-9.  Finally Oregon's Dalton Beall battled with Juan Canales of El Paso in a close first game before winning 21-18.  Beall settled in during the second game and closed out the match with a convincing 21-9 win.  Beall will face defending champion Sean Lenning in tomorrow's quarterfinal at Noon on Friday.  See tomorrow's match-ups, results and draw HERE.
 
The Labor Day Holiday Weekend marks the end of summer as days become shorter (and cooler) in the coming months.  We love to celebrate this weekend with Toledo Handball crew and over 200 players signed up to battle on the courts for five days. 
    Don't forget to check out the "Things-to-do in Toledo" HERE.
 
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