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The Tucson Memorial & WPH R48Pro IX Stop #2

TUCSON -- Ireland's Martin Mulkerrins has been a force on the national handball scene, both in Ireland and in the U.S.  The Galway product reached the last two USHA Nationals (2018, 2019) finals only to face disappointment, but in the Tucson Memorial & WPH R48Pro IX Stop final, Mulkerrins defeated Sean Lenning, 15-9, 15-6 for his first R48Pro title. 

"I was thankful to get out of here with the result." said Mulkerrins. "It's taken a lot of losses...I made the conscious decision to stay away from the roof [ceiling] shots."  

Joining Paul Brady as only the second qualifier to win an R48Pro title, Mulkerrins was ready for the physical test and extra matches. 

"It's extra court time, but it worked out this week.  I've trained very hard the last few weeks and was preparing for six matches." Mulkerrins admitted. "It's tough but we were ready for it." 

Going into Sunday's final, the opponents were even with two match wins apiece.  Lenning, the defending Tucson Memorial champ, looked nothing short of outstanding leading up to his final bid to repeat, but Mulkerrins was too strong through two dominant games.  

The two traded early points, but Mulkerrins pulled away with a few service aces and grinding out tough points keeping the ball in play to build a 9-3 lead.  Lenning answered, shooting from everywhere to make a 6-1 scoring run.  Mulkerrins didn't fold to the pressure and despite a late double fault, scored the remaining five points for the game one victory. 

In the second, Mulkerrins kept up the same tempo, keeping rallies going and taking high-percentage shots to win the second game by a nine-point margin. 

Fink wins SR48Pro

In the day's first big final, David Fink and Marcos Chavez mixed it up in the Men's Senior R48Pro final.  This was the seventh consecutive meeting for the two Masters eligible top-8 pros with Fink winning five of the last six contests.  Fink shook off a first-game defeat for stop Chavez in the tiebreaker winning (10-15), 15-10, 15-8. 

Chavez started the morning on fire, shooting everything in front of a frustrated Fink en route to a five-point win. 

While Fink showed exceptionally physical conditioning, he displayed tremendous mental toughness to come back in the second game winning by the same score.  In the third frame, Fink was rolling, and Chavez was showing some signs of wear.  In a late rally, the two opponents traded dives in the front court--Fink making another amazing get to end the rally.  That momentum carried through to match point for Fink.  At match point, Chavez went for a kill to get the side out, but it came up just short, resulting in another title for Fink. 

“Even at 14-5, I wasn’t comfortable,” Fink admitted. “I knew Marcos could still make a run. I am really excited to win this one.”

Casey rolls to 19th W48Pro win

Catriona Casey looked as dominant as ever throughout the weekend and the final defeating Ciana Ni Churraoin, 15-4, 15-2. 

Ni Churraoin looked impressive leading up to the final, but Casey played virtually mistake-free handball, making her opponent pay for any hand-errors or miss-hits.  Ni Churraoin delivered some impressive ace serves in the second game, but that provided little defense against Casey's onslaught.  Ceiling shots, passes and kills, Casey executed each with precision. 

“Every tournament I play I want to win.” Casey admitted.  "The two that I lost, I remember those." 

"Ciana was hitting some good shots." said Casey, "I served a couple of times at game point.  She's going to keep fighting.  We saw that she's capable of coming back."

Casey relished the win and will look forward to the next two stops. 

See the draws and final results at The Memorial's R2sports site HERE.

Watch replay at WatchESPN.com or on the Watch ESPN App (iPhone or Android). 

Read the World Pro Handball's event wrap-up HERE.

On Saturday evening, the WPH recognized Jeff Healam with the WPH Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Jeff has been one of the WPH’s greatest supporters since the WPH relocated to Tucson in 2009,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink.  Fink and WPH Board Member Scott Cleveland presented the award to Healam on the show court next to the iconic Tucson Memorial Trophy. 

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69th USHA National Four-Wall Championships

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. -- Catriona Casey wasn't fazed after a lopsided loss (4-21) to start the Women's Open Singles final against Ciana Ni Churraoin.  Casey calmly regrouped and place a proverbial tourniquet on Ni Churraoin's offensive game plan for the rest of the match to win, 4-21, 21-8, 11-0.  Casey neutralizing her opponent's power and athleticism by placing her shots deep 

where Churraoin couldn't easily execute flykills or set-ups off the back wall.  When presented the opportunity to kill, Casey found the bottom board more times than not en route to her dominating the remainder of the match. 

Over past two Nationals (Worlds and Three-Wall), it appeared Sean Lenning and Marcos Chavez's doubles dominance had come to an end.  The longtime doubles duo soon found themselves in familiar territory: The Winner's Circle. Lenning and Chavez regained their National Doubles crown with authority over Daniel and Luis Cordova, 21-11, 21-11.  The combination of Lenning's backwall kills with Chavez covering the front court proved devastating to the Cordova brothers.  The win establishes Lenning and Chavez as one of the best doubles teams in handball history. 

In the Men’s Big Ball Open Singles, Gabino Valezquez won his second singles title with an impressive two-game win over Brian Medina, 21-11, 21-11. 

The 69th USHA National Four-Wall Championships were truly special given the historic marks set, and they celebrated along with the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies of Vince Munoz and David Chapman.  Watch the Hall of Fame induction ceremony HERE.

See the final results at the 69th USHA Nationals R2sports site HERE

The USHA and WPH have teamed up again to broadcast LIVE handball from the Nationals.  Watch the replay by clicking on each day's link. 

Friday, June 28 - Direct Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hmBPKwzZEI

Saturday, June 29 - Direct Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK65fWNW2D4 

Sunday, June 30 - Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DqRgurihOk  

 


FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. --  After three attempts, Paul "Gunner" Brady joined Naty "El Gato" Alvarado at the top of the leader board for USHA National Four-Wall Singles titles (11) and also became the oldest USHA singles champion at 39.  In the historic final, Brady conjured up one of his most dominant performances defeating Martin Mulkerrins, 21-11, 21-7.  Watch the final match point HERE.

Not 24 hours earlier, Mulkerrins looked unbeatable on his way to defeating Killian Carroll in the semifinal.  But on this day, Brady wouldn't be denied another chance at history. 

Mulkerrins shot out to a small lead as the gallery settled into their seats only to see Brady settle into the match and take a lead he would not relinquish.  The second game started, and Brady soon held an 11-4 advantage.  Mulkerrins would make one final push, putting together an array of kills that wowed the capacity crowd and gave hope to those hoping for more handball.  Brady however, had other plans and viewers noticed more velocity and effort into each shot.  As Mulkerrins would set up for a kill, Brady would almost glide to the correct spot with anticipation for a rekill. 

With match point in the balance, a Mulkerrins return landed short of the front wall, and Brady let out an exuberant yell.  Always a gentleman, Mulkerrins gave his opponent a congratulatory embrace, and afterwards the new champion fell to his knees to take in the moment while the gallery applauded.  The win capped an incredible week and a journey that took slightly longer than first expected.  

In the Women's Open division, Catriona Casey returns to the final where she'll face Ciana Ni Churraoin.  Casey stopped Danielle Daskalakis 21-8, 21-5, while Ni Churraoin defeated Fiona Tulley, 21-8, 21-2.

In Men's Open Doubles, Daniel and Luis Cordova advanced to the final to play Sean Lenning and Marcos Chavez.  

See more of Saturday’s results at the tournament's R2sports site HERE

If you can't make to Los Cab to experience the Four-Wall Nationals, you can watch LIVE action on your streaming device.  The USHA and WPH have teamed up again to broadcast LIVE handball from the Nationals.  Below are the links and schedule to watch the stream each day. 

Friday, June 28 - Direct Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hmBPKwzZEI

Saturday, June 29 - Direct Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK65fWNW2D4 

Sunday, June 30 - Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DqRgurihOk  

10:00 AM              WOMEN’S SINGLES FINAL (Catrionia Casey vs. Ciana Ni Churraoin)

11:00 AM              MEN’S DOUBLES FINAL (Sean Lenning / Marcos Chavez vs. Luis Cordova / Daniel Cordova)

1:00 PM                WOMEN’S DOUBLES FINAL (Catriona Casey / Tracy Davis vs. Fiona Tully / Ciana Ni Churraoin)


FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. --  There will be a new Open Singles champion first the first time since 2016. Martin Mulkerrins will face Paul Brady in a rematch of the 2013 Nationals Final (played in Des Moines, Iowa).  

Saturday’s first semifinal match of the 69th USHA National Four-Wall Championships was a rematch of the 2018 Worlds final, but this time Mulkerrins defeated Killian Carroll, 21-13, 21-19. 

The first game played out with Mulkerrins controlling the action, playing virtually mistake-free and relaxed.  In the second, a motivated Carroll pressed the issue against his opponent, knowing he needed to force a third game to advance to his fourth consecutive final. 

But Mulkerrins didn’t let up, coming back and holding off one last Carroll push to win the second game by a slim two-point margin. 

Even with the lead, Mulkerrins knew Carroll was capable of turning the match’s tide. 

“When we played in Minnesota, I had a lead, only to see him come back and take control of the match.” he said. 

In the second semifinal, Paul Brady looked as dominant as ever, giving David Fink little chance for any scoring opportunities to mount a comeback.  Brady’s offensive arsenal kept Fink playing in the backcourt for the majority of the match, neutralizing the lefty’s exceptional front-court game. 

In Women’s Open action, Danielle Daskalakis pulled out an exciting win over Tracy Davis, 21-16, 6-21, 11-10.  Davis had the match’s momentum and matchpoint twice before Daskalakis fought back, finishing her comeback with a left-handed tomahawk kill for the victory.  She’ll face Catriona Casey in tomorrow’s first semifinal. 

See more of Friday’s results at the tournament's R2sports site HERE

If you can't make to Los Cab to experience the Four-Wall Nationals, you can watch LIVE action on your streaming device.  The USHA and WPH have teamed up again to broadcast LIVE handball from the Nationals.  Below are the links and schedule to watch the stream each day. 

Friday, June 28 - Direct Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hmBPKwzZEI

Saturday, June 29 - Direct Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK65fWNW2D4 

Sunday, June 30 - Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DqRgurihOk  


 


FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. -- Players moved deeper into their respective draws and matches were even more competitive on the second day of play at the Nationals.  

In Men's Open Singles action, Killian Carroll rolled into the semis with a two-game win over Vic Perez, 21-14, 21-8, and Martin Mulkerrins stopped Daniel Cordova 21-14, 21-7 for the right to face Carroll in tomorrow's first semifinal.  That match is a replay of the 2018 World Championship final.  

In another Worlds rematch, Paul Brady closed out an impressive victory over Luis Cordova Jr. after a narrow first-game win, 21-19, 21-8.  

To secure the final semifinal spot, David Fink played close to a perfect match against Sean Lenning.  Even though Lenning was returning many of Fink's low driving shots and serves, he could never establish a rhythm through two games.  Fink cruised to victory with 21-4, 21-6. 

The day wrapped with a very special Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Nationals Banquet.  A huge crowd packed the banquet room at Los Cab to witness the inductions of Vince Munoz and David Chapman, two of the most dominant players in the past 25 years.  

Paul Durso made the induction speech and introduced Vince Munoz.  Munoz thanked his family, his coach Tony Huante, and all the handball players who helped train and motivate him to be better.  He also was thankful to be inducted with David Chapman. 

In moving speeches by David Fink and Chapman's younger brother, John Chapman, we celebrated the career of David Chapman.  Both speakers touched on Chapman's ever-present intense competitive drive along with his compassion and friendship off the court.  

A moment of silence was observed for Hall of Fame Contributor Alvis Grant. 

Ron Cole and William Cervantes were honored at the banquet for attaining Grand Masters status (10 or more National Age Division titles).   

Draws and results are now available at the tournament's R2sports site HERE

If you can't make to Los Cab to experience the Four-Wall Nationals, you can watch LIVE action on your streaming device.  The USHA and WPH have teamed up again to broadcast LIVE handball from the Nationals.  Below are the links and schedule to watch the stream each day. 

Friday, June 28 - Direct Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hmBPKwzZEI

Saturday, June 29 - Direct Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK65fWNW2D4 

Sunday, June 30 - Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DqRgurihOk  

 


 

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. -- The "June Gloom" clouds gave way to sunshine on Wednesday in Southern California as matches began for the 69th USHA National Four-Wall Championships.   While most first-day matches produce lopsided scores, many of this year's first rounds went to three games.  While the tiebreaker matches were exciting for fans, Wednesday's results set the table for some epic match-ups in the quarterfinals on Thursday. 

In the Open Singles, Stephen Cooney pulled out a 21-20 win in the first game only to see Jeff Streibig battle back to take the second, 21-17.   Cooney would edge Streibig in the tiebreaker 11-7.  Both Niall O'Connor and Sam Esser produced nearly identical scores with O'Connor winning, 21-20, 18-21, 11-8.  

The evening ended with a round of 16 match between Vic Perez and Emmett Peixoto.  Perez began the match delivering low-driving serves that hopped in either direction, putting Peixoto on the defensive to start each rally.  The result was a 21-10 victory.  Peixoto adjusted in the second, using his athleticism and power to keep pace with Perez.  On the brink of a tiebreaker, Perez zipped a ball in for a right-front corner kill to earn the side out.  Back in the service box, Perez tied the score 20-20 and was in control of the action with match point on the line.  Peixoto spanned the length of the court three times-diving twice-to chase down each ball for a retrieve until his final attempt fell short.  A relieved Perez shook hands with Peixoto who wished him the best in the next round.

Defending champion Killian Carroll will face Vic Perez in the first quarterfinal of the day.  In the opposite side of the draw, Paul Brady faces Luis Cordova Jr.  

The Southern California Handball Association proudly hosts the USHA National Four-Wall Championships at Los Caballeros Sports Village, marking the 69th anniversary of the annual tournament.

This is also the 100th anniversary of handball national championships in the United States.  In 1919, Bill "Murder Ball" Ranft slammed, winning singles and doubles titles at the first AAU National Handball Championships hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. 

Draws and start times are now available at the tournament's R2sports site HERE.

If you can't make to Los Cab to experience the Four-Wall Nationals, you can watch LIVE action on your streaming device.  The USHA and WPH have teamed up again to broadcast LIVE handball from the Nationals.  Below are the links and schedule to watch the stream each day. 

Direct Link for Friday:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hmBPKwzZEI

11:00 AM              MEN’S SINGLES SEMIFINALS (UPPER BRACKET TBD)

12:00 PM              MEN’S SINGLES SEMIFINALS (LOWER BRACKET TBD)

2:00 PM                 WOMEN’S SINGLES RD OF 8 (LOWER BRACKET TBD)

3:00 PM                 WOMEN’S SINGLES RD OF 8 (UPPER BRACKET TBD)

4:00 PM                 MEN’S DOUBLES RD OF 8 – LENNING/CHAVEZ VS RUIZ/MONTIJO OR ANDERSON/ANDERSON

5:00 PM                 MEN’S DOUBLES RD OF 8 – COONEY/O’CONNOR VS ESSER/LANGMACK

6:00 PM                 MEN’S DOUBLES RD OF 8 – CORDOVA/CORDOVA VS PEREZ/CORTEZ OR TBD

7:00 PM                 MEN’S DOUBLES RD OF 8 – CARROLL/MULKERRINS VS TORRES/COLLADO OR TBD

 

Saturday, June 29th - Direct Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK65fWNW2D4 

10:00 AM              WOMEN’S SINGLES SEMIFINALS (UPPER BRACKET TBD)

11:00 AM              WOMEN’S SINGLES SEMIFINALS (LOWER BRACKET TBD)

12:00 PM              MEN’S SINGLES FINALS (TBD)

2:00 PM                 MEN’S SINGLES BIG BALL SEMIFINALS – MEDINA VS BECERRA

4:00 PM                 MEN’S DOUBLES SEMIFINALS (UPPER BRACKET TBD)

5:00 PM                 MEN’S DOUBLES SEMIFINALS (LOWER BRACKET TBD)

6:00 PM                 WOMEN’S DOUBLES (2ND ROUND TBD)

 

Sunday, June 30th, 2019 - Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DqRgurihOk  

10:00 AM              WOMEN’S SINGLES FINAL (TBD)

11:00 AM              MEN’S DOUBLES FINAL (TBD)

1:00 PM                WOMEN’S DOUBLES FINAL (TBD)

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69th USHA National Three-Wall Championships

SEAN LENNING wins record-breaking 11th singles title and slams in the doubles...

MAUMEE, Ohio -- New York’s cross over superstar Danielle Daskalakis decisively announced herself as the Women’s Pro 3-Wall Singles national champion, ending Hilary Rushe’s reign in Maumee with a convincing two-game sweep. Daskalakis took control of the match from the outset, keeping Rushe off-balance with the best power hop serve in women’s handball and controlling the front court with fly kills and paddle re kills.  Daskalakis won her first three-wall singles title by the score of 21-5, 21-9.

In the Women's Open Doubles, Hilary Rushe and Carly Munson made a bid to deny Daskalakis the Women’s Pro slam, as they won the first game handily, 21-12.  Daskalakis and Jenny Schmitt regrouped nicely in the second to win 21-15.  In the tiebreaker, Daskalakis and Schmitt continued to control the action as they won their first title as a team, 11-5.  

"They were just so consistent," said Rushe in a post-match interview.  "It didn't matter who you'd try to pick on, they always got the ball back."

Men’s Pro Small Ball Doubles

Sean Lenning and Marcos Chavez captured the rare 4-Wall/3-Wall double for the second time in three years, capturing the 4-Wall pro national doubles title in June and the 3-Wall pro national title today in a dominating performance against the Olympic Club’s Loren Collado and Erik Torres. “Sean just found “it” after winning the first game against Erik (Torres) in the singles semifinals and from there just completelominated the court in singles and doubles,” stated WPH/USHA reporter Danos Cordova. The combination of Lenning’s serving and deep game and Chavez’ doubles wizardry was too much for the field, as the Olympic Club’s top team could barley score in the final.

Final: Lenning/Chavez d. L. Collado/Torres, 21-8, 21-2.

Men’s 3-Wall Big Ball Pro Doubles

Allan Sanchez joined Sean Lenning and Marcos Chavez in completing the national doubles “double,” as Sanchez won the 1-Wall small ball doubles in July and the 3-Wall big ball doubles in Toledo. Sanchez and Camacho entered the final against Dave and Mike Munson as the favorites based on their big ball experience, but Team Munson fought off match point in game two before falling in the tiebreaker.

Final: Sanchez/Camacho d. Munson, 21-6, 20-21, 11-3.

Master’s Singles

Josh Ho captured the 40+ singles, Dr. “Wrap Around” Dan Zimet captured another 3-Wall title in the 45+ singles, Jim Karner became a “Grand Master” by winning the 50+ singles, Tom Valenzuela won the 55+ singles, Phil Kirk defended his home court in the 60+ singles, Bob Dyke was the Cinderella Story in the 65+ singles, winning the title as the seventh seed, Ed Cambell continued to dominate in the 70+, Michigan’s Rick Graham captured the 75+ singles, and Norm Young won the 80+.

Junior Singles

Michigan’s Payton Allaire won the most exciting final of the event in the 13-and-under singles, defeating Cleveland’s Carlos Vazquez, Jr. in a thrilling 11-9 tiebreaker.

Nicholas Roberts won the 19-and-under singles (using the round robin tiebreaker rules), overcoming Johnny Cooke, Brian Thompson, and Cameron Lowe is a closely contested four-player round robin.  

Skill Level Singles

Mid America regional champion Joe Frankenfield added another title to his trophy case, defeating Ryan Inman to win the A singles.

New Jersey’s Sam Worchesky defeated John Mantilla to punch his ticket to the A’s, winning the B in a tiebreaker.

Master’s Doubles

Joe Harris and Marcos Chavez won the 40/45 doubles, adding the 3-Wall title to the 4-Wall title they won together in June. Tom Valenzuela slammed the 50’s, teaming with Mark Zamora to win the 50+ doubles. Ohio’s Phil Kirk slammed the 60+, winning the 60+ doubles with Bob Bardeau to go with his singles title. Ed Cambell became another “slammer,” teaming with Bob Bardwell to win the 70+ doubles.  

We'd like to issue a THANK YOU to all of Toledo Handball and the incredible army of volunteers assembled to make this tournament the best ever!  See the final results and draws HERE.

David Fink
WPH Senior Writer/USHA Correspondent 


Sunday: Day 4: Lenning Breaks the Record!

MAUMEE, Ohio -- Sean Lenning entered Sunday’s final aiming to become the most winning 3-Wall singles champion in history, while Abraham Montijo was seeking his first pro singles major title. To eclipse Vince Munoz’s ten 3-Wall national titles, Lenning would need to serve well and defend Montijo’s deep power hop serve.

Lenning brought a different intensity from the previous day to the rain-soaked courts on Sunday morning, blasting every serve and shot with ferocious and devastating power and covering the court with cat-like quickness. Lenning clinched game one after a two-hour rain delay, 21-6, and was ever more dominating in game two, clinching the 3-Wall record emphatically, 21-0. “That’s the record,” screamed Lenning’s best friend and doubles partner Marcos Chavez in the Ohio rain.

“That was the best I’ve ever seen Sean play,” stated finals referee Jim Smith. “Every shot was simply outstanding.”

“Sean simply took over in the second game, hardly leaving the service box or the front court,” stated USHA Development Director Matthew Krueger.

Final: Lenning d. Montijo, 21-6, 21-0

Women’s Pro Singles

Hilary Rushe was aiming to continue her 3-Wall dominance, having won the women’s singles in Maumee in her last two Maumee outings. Rushe faced Texas’ surging Kristen Hughes, who has proven she belongs on the court with the best in the sport. Rushe cruised in game one and held off a spirited charge from the Longhorns’ Hughes to advance to the final in two games.

Megan Dorneker entered the bottom bracket semifinal against New York’s cross over star Danielle Daskalakis seeking to add to her sparkling 3-Wall resume. The greatest women’s 3-Waller of the 21st century was unable to fend off the sharp-shooting, sweet-swinging southpaw from Brooklyn, as DD escaped a close first game and cruised in game two to meet the Chicago by-way-of-Ireland’s Rushe in Monday’s final.

Women’s Pro Singles Semifinals

Rushe d. Hughes, 21-7, 21-13; Daskalakis d. Dorneker, 21-18, 21-3.

Final (Monday): Rushe vs. Daskalakis

Men’s Pro Doubles

Semifinals

Lenning/Chavez d. C. Lemus/M. Lemus, 21-8, 21-11; L. Collado/Torres d. Montijo/D. Cordova,  21-20, 9-21, 11-3.

Final (Monday):  Lenning/Chavez vs. L. Collado/Torres

Men’s 3-Wall Big Ball Pro Doubles

Sanchez/Camacho d. Vale/Kaplan 21-16, 21-6; D. Munson/M. Munson d. D. Szatkowski/Dorneker,  21-10, 21-11.

Final (Monday): Sanchez/Camacho vs. D. Munson/M. Munson

Monday will feature the Men’s Pro Small Ball and Big Ball Doubles finals, the Women’s Pro Singles and Doubles finals, as well as the master’s, junior, and skill level stars in action.

Stay tuned to this thread throughout the weekend for updates from the best Labor Day Party in handball.

Watch the matches on the Team Cleveland Handball Facebook page HERE

Follow all of the brackets and results from the 69th USHA National Three-Wall Championships HERE.

For more information on the United States Handball Association, go to ushandball.org.

David Fink
WPH Senior Writer/USHA Correspondent


 

MAUMEE, Ohio -- The Men’s Open field staged its semifinals on Saturday.  Erik Torres sought to end Lenning’s streak in the upper bracket, while the bottom bracket was assured of a first-time 3-Wall National finalist with the match between Abraham Montijo and Leo Canales, Jr.

Torres had played Lenning close in previous 3-Wall tournament matches, pushing the 10-time 3-Wall national champion to tiebreakers in three of their 3-Wall encounters. Torres played even with the defending champion in game one, overcoming Lenning’s devastating serve to serve for the game three times at 20. Lenning escaped a game one deficit after Torres squandered three chances to take a one-game lead at 20 and seized control of the match in game two. “Sean’s serve gives him such a huge advantage,” stated WPH/USHA reporter and R48 #3 Danos Cordova. “Sean gets about eight aces per game and that’s what enabled him to get back into game one and dominate game two. You could see that Sean found his game and his groove in game two, not only serving well but hitting a lot of great kills and drives.”

Montijo and Canales met in a battle of Southwest stars in the bottom bracket, with the winner punching his ticket to the biggest match of his life. Montijo cruised in game one and used his 10+ years of pro experience to advance to his biggest final in game two. “I think I played well,” stated a thrilled Montijo. “Leo ran me around pretty good but I was able to get all of his deep shots back. My back court game was stronger than his and that was a big advantage. I’m sore but excited for tomorrow!”

Women's Open

The Women’s Pro singles quarterfinals featured a mix of champions and newcomers on the 3-Wall scene. The four women’s winners on Saturday dominated, with none of Maumee’s “Fab 4” allowing more than six points in any game, setting up a scintillating Sunday of women’s 3-Wall handball.

Sunday will feature the Men’s Pro Singles final (Sunday, 10 a.m. Eastern), as well as the Men’s Open Doubles semifinals, the Women’s Pro Singles semifinals, as well as the master’s, junior, and skill level stars in action.

Congratulations to Jim Karner on winning his 10th Masters title and becoming the latest USHA Grand Master.  Also, Terry McGuire won his first national title in the 60B singles.

See the day's results and draws HERE.

-David Fink
WPH Senior Writer/USHA Correspondent 

 


 

The Men’s Pro singles quarterfinals headlined Friday’s play on a beautiful 80 degree day in Maumee, as the top four men’s stars advanced to the weekend’s semifinals.

Sean Lenning needed less than 30 minutes to fly past Loren Collado in his quest for #11, overwhelming the Olympic Club star with power serves and first-strike offense.

Erik Torres showcased his exceptional 3-Wall power game, downing the resurgent Bill Mehilos in two games. “Erik was just in better shape,” stated WPH Toledo reporter Abraham Montijo. “Erik’s play from the deep court made a big difference.”

“I’m feeling good,” barked Torres. “I gotta stay focused and play better handball (tomorrow). I know I can do better.”

Second-seeded Danos Cordova was stunned by Leo Canales, Jr., losing in two games to his El Paso protégé. “Daniel looked rusty while Leo was sharp and really pumped up,” stated Montijo. “

Tucson’s FLF Executive Director Abraham Montijo added a second upset in the bottom bracket, ousting 3-Wall veteran Dane Szatkowski in two games. “Dane and I went back and forth until 16-all in the first game,” stated Montijo. “I pulled away with some good serves and shots after the serve. I jumped out to a 20-6 lead in game two. Dane chipped away to 13 but I was able to close out the game by digging his shots and finally scoring the final point.”

Master’s and skill level brackets continued on Friday, as Master’s stars Dr. Dan Zimet, Joe Harris, Ryan Grossenbacher, Casey Mayo, Kirk Rys, Adam Zimet, Josh Ho, Jared Vale, Jim Karner, Rick Leonard, Dave Dohman, Phil Kirk, Dan Ho, Ed Cambell and many more battled at the Lucas County Rec Center.

The Women’s pro singles preliminary matches will kickoff late on Friday night, with the women’s quarterfinals starting on Saturday morning.

Stay tuned to this thread throughout the weekend for updates from the best Labor Day Party in handball.

See the day's results and draws HERE.

David Fink
WPH Senior Writer/USHA Correspondent 


 

MAUMEE, Ohio -- The 69th edition of the USHA National Three-Wall Championships kicked off under sunny skies and warm temps on Thursday at the Lucas County Rec Center.  While most first-round and preliminary matches can be one-sided, there were multiple tiebreakers on the first day.  

Loren Collado stopped Ricardo Palma's bid to advance in the Open Singles with a (16), 18, 7 victory.  He'll face 10-time singles champion Sean Lenning tomorrow at 11:00 A.M. (Eastern).  

Elsewhere in the 50B Singles, Dennis Pinigis and Dan Emmandorfer went the distance with Pinigis getting the 16, (7), 10 tiebreaker win.  

To wrap up the day, Toledo Handball's Jim "Smitty" Smith conducted a USHA Certified Referee Clinic, helping players become more familiar with the while and earning their first or second level of Referee Certification (shown above).

 

Open Day Wrap-up by David Fink, WPH Senior Writer/USHA Correspondent

The 69th annual USHA National Three-Wall Championships kicked off on Thursday in Maumee, OH, featuring more than 200 Three-Wall crazed men’s, women’s, and junior stars. Sean Lenning’s quest for a record-breaking 11th Men’s Pro Singles title takes center stage in Maumee, as just three wins stands between Lenning and history. Joining Lenning in Maumee are the top men’s, women’s, master’s, skill level, and junior players from across the country, all seeking national titles in one of the best outdoor events in the sport.

Men’s Pro Singles

The Men’s Pro Singles kicked off on Thursday in Maumee, with 12 of the 14 players in action.

The Olympic Club’s R48 #18 Loren Collado stood three points from a first round exit against 2019 USHA Four-Wall National A finalist Ricardo Palma before turning the table on the LAAC star to win a close tiebreaker.

Chicago 3-Wall specialists Dane Szatkowski and Bill Mehilos outscored their opponents by a combined 84-11 to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals. Chicago’s Carlos Lemus was not as fortunate as his Windy City comrades, losing to the Olympic Club’s Erik Torres in two games.

Tucson’s R48 #16 Abraham Montijo handed the Olympic Club’s head handball coach Anthony Collado a straight sets loss, while former USHA collegiate national champion and R48 #15 Juan Canales, Jr. overcame rising star Ray Ure to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.

Master’s and skill level brackets also commenced on Thursday, while the Women’s pro singles will start on Friday evening.

Stay tuned to this thread throughout the weekend for updates from the best Labor Day Party in handball.

Follow all of the brackets and results from the 69th USHA National Three-Wall Championships HERE.

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12th USHA Wallball Nationals

BROOKLYN -- All eyes were on No. 1 seed and defending champion Timothy Gonzalez at this years USHA Wallball National Championships.  Once again, Gonzalez showed he can deliver results under pressure as well as thrive on it.  Not quite ready to relinquish his crown as NYC's best wallballer, Gonzalez defeated Kadeem Bush convincingly in the final 25-9.  After collecting his gold USHA medallion, he completed the slam with partner Carlos Pena, defeating Carlin Rosa and Allan Sanchez to capture the Men's Pro Doubles title.  

Gonzalez was only a week removed from an injury default in the Castle Hill Gladiator event while younger players were beginning to step up their games.  With 35 players in the Pro Singles and 16 doubles teams in Doubles, Gonzalez's stamina would be tested through 5 rounds of singles and 4 rounds of doubles.  If the scores were an indicator of his dominance, Gonzalez faced little resistance besides a quarterfinal battle against Cory Vadala (25-21).  That match proved to be the wake-up call Gonzalez needed as he held his semifinal and final opponents to single digits. 

In Women's Pro action, Jenny Qu nabbed her second National title (2017) by drubbing Melanie Garate, 25-9.  Qu stopped Garate's sibling Jessenia in the semis, 25-18.

Ruby Lloyd and Biridiana Garcia have put together an impressive streak successfully defending their doubles title with a 25-20 win over Jenny Qu and Danielle Daskalakis.  

In the Masters Singles, Brooklyn's ageless George Figueroa defeated Cesar Sala 25-24 in one of the tournament's most exciting finals.   

The lone division to finish on Saturday was the Golden Masters (50+) Singles, where No. 5 Seed Ronald Beard of Dix Hills ran the table with a 25-7 win over Jason Samuels in the final.

See the final results and draws at the R2sports tournament site HERE.
Photos courtesy of Castle Hill Handball Club Gladiator Event.


BROOKLYN -- Singles and Doubles matches played from morning to dusk Saturday at Coney Island's West 5th & Surf Ave Courts. 

The lone division to finish was the Golden Masters (50+) Singles, where No. 5 Seed Ronald Beard of Dix Hills ran the table with a 25-7 win over Jason Samuels in the final.

View results and draws at the R2sports tournament site HERE. 


 

BROOKLYN -- Start Times and Draws are now LIVE on the 12th USHA Wallball National Championships R2sports site. Matches will be starting on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. (with a couple going off at 7:55 a.m. to beat the heat!).

PLEASE NOTE:  These are tentative draws and times any they MAY change up until the start of the respective division. Please check back and review your times on the morning of the event.

Special 2019 Wallball Nationals Dri-Fit T-Shirts will be given away to all participants.  We have enough for every player registered, but sizes are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Be sure to check-in EARLY to get yours!

The 12th USHA Wallball Nationals carry a theme for 2019:  Helping Others by Giving Back. 

A FREE Juniors Clinic will be offered on Saturday.  The NYPD, NYFD  and NYCD will be present with recruitment and outreach tables.  Local media, NY1 has confirmed coverage for the event! 

MAJORITY OF MATCHES WILL BEGIN SATURDAY (9/22) MORNING @ 8:30 a.m. (with a couple going off at 7:55 a.m. to beat the heat!).

View tentative draws and start times at the R2sports tournament site HERE.

 

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59th USHA National One-Wall Championships

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- "You'll have to go back to the archives," Victor Lopierre said before the start of the Open doubles final.  "If Allan (Sanchez) I win, you can print the picture of our 19-and-under doubles win side-by-side with this."  We'll have to go back to the archives after their exciting 11-9 win over Cesare Sala and Pee Wee Castro on Sunday that concluded a great week of weather and handball along the Coney Island board walk. 

Robert Sostre and Pete Pellegrini emerged undefeated in the Seniors doubles and Armando Duchesne partnered with George Alicea-Ruiz to take the Supers and earn George his first national title.

From Saturday: Timbo Gonzalez held off a determined challenge by defending champ Tyree Bastidas to lay claim to both the small and big ball titles in 2019.  It's just the second time it's been done in the same year, both by Timbo. Tyree rallied to win the second game from a 17-20 deficit to force a tiebreaker but Timbo took control of the center court and the match for the win. 

Joe Kaplan beat Milton Jones for the Masters title.  Arnold Lee won the A, Jose Tuffino took the C and Jerry Yee won the 65 singles, while eligible for the 70s.

Visit the R2Sports for final results HERE.

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2019 Junior National One-Wall Championships (Co-Sponsored by ICHA)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The 2019 USHA Junior One-Wall Nationals co-hosted by the ICHA was a huge success!  Tournament Directors Jared Vale and Cesar Sala hosted 100 eager participants.

There were 11 divisions and Matches began at 8:15 am and concluded at 5:30pm. The 19-Under Singles was won by Henry Santana (Brooklyn) over David Kim (Brooklyn) 21-10.  Henry has been runner up for several years and this was his last year to participate. He was thrilled to finally secure a Junior national title.

Sisters Shnae and Shkysi Cummings

The talk of the tournament were the Cummings Sisters.  Both sisters slammed!!! Shkysi (Sha-Kie) stepped up and winning BOTH the boys 19 and under open doubles with Syed Hasan and the 19 Under girls singles with her sister Shnae. Shnae also won the girls 19 and under singles. In 3 matches - ONLY 1 point was scored against her. Complete results are be available at the r2sports tournament page HERE.

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2019 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships

VENICE BEACH, Calif. -- The throng of weekend beachgoers made for a crowded final day of the 2019 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships held at the Venice Beach Rec Center.  Thousands of tourists walking along the boardwalk stopped by the courts and were amazed at the athleticism and talent the youngsters exhibited--especially those playing in championship finals.    

Mauricio Molina (shown swinging) out of Palmdale, CA was relatively unknown playing in his first National Juniors, but he made sure everyone will know who he is with an amazing tournament.  Molina came back from a game one route by Jesus Mendez to win the Boys 19-Under Big Ball singles, 9-21, 21-7, 11-5.  

Molina's relentless pursuit of every ball eventually wore Mendez down, affording him better court positioning and more kill opportunities.  

Mendez (with partner Eddie "Torito" Rocha) exacted some revenge in the Boys 19-Under Big Ball final, defeating Molina and Anthony Cubias in two games, 21-14, 21-6.  

In other Big Ball finals, David Sanchez defeated George Mitchell in the 17-Under final, 21-10, 21-8.  Earlier in the day, Mitchell clinched the 17-Under Small Ball title by defeating Fermin Victoria to go undefeated in round robin play. 

Eddie Rocha won the Boys 15-Under Big Ball singles, holding off a late charge from Bryan Trejo, 21-5, 21-15. 

In the Junior 11-Under Small Ball final, Ethan Noriega looked strong defeating Marco Barrera in two games, 21-4, 21-5.  Barrera came back strong in the 11-Under Big Ball division, but he ultimately fell just short in the final to Andres Estrella, 21-14, 15-21, 11-9.

"X" marked the spot for the junior player who made the biggest impression on everyone at this year's Junior Three-Wall Nationals.  Xavier Flores exhibited smooth and fluid strokes in every one of his matches.  Big or small ball didn't make a difference to the young star who won titles in the 13-Under Small and Big Ball singles and the 13-Under Big Ball doubles with partner JJ Arellano.  Look for Flores to be a force in the juniors for years to come.   

A special "thank you" goes out to all the Southern California Handball Association board and volunteers for rolling out the red carpet for the junior players in Venice Beach.  Also, thank you to Owen Gloves for awarding gloves to every finalist in all divisions.  Thank you to the USHA's Ardito Fund and the Presidents Club who supported travel for players making the trip into Los Angeles.  A BIG "thank you" to the parents and coaches who chipped in to make this an exceptional tournament.  All junior players showed tremendous sportsmanship and exhibited the best behavior on one of handball's biggest stages!  

See the final results on the r2sports site HERE.


VENICE BEACH, Calif. -- A new 19-Under Champion was crowned on Saturday at the 2019 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships as Jon Gutierrez defeated Luis Mendez, 18-21, 21-13, 11-7.  Gutierrez won his first trip to a National Junior 3-Wall Singles final in his last year of junior eligibility. 

Mendez open the championship final with a strong serve and shoot game, but Gutierrez kept cool and kept pace even though he relinquished the first game.  In the second game, Gutierrez turned up his serve and managed to keep Mendez in the deep court and away from kill opportunities.  In the tiebreaker, Mendez tried to steal back the momentum with a high z-serve that produced a few crucial points.  Gutierrez responded with an array of passes down the walls, the final shot being a deep drive to the left corner that Mendez couldn't return.  A happy and relieved Gutierrez pointed upwards before shaking hands with his doubles partner.  

The tough early morning singles final didn't sap the energy for Mendez and Gutierrez.  They paired to win the doubles final with a two-game win over the newly formed team of David Sanchez III and Osby Perez, 21-12, 21-6.  Their win in the doubles final helped Gutierrez complete the slam.        

The Boys 17-Under singles will be determined on Sunday morning, but the 17-Under Doubles wrapped up on Saturday afternoon with four of Southern California's best players.  George Mitchell and Anthony Sanchez edged their teammates Yong-Lik Tang and Fermin Victoria, 21-12, 17-21, 11-10.

Bryan Trejo defeated Anthony Sanchez in the Boys 15-Under championship final, 21-19, 21-13.  

Xavier Flores looked impressive defeating Ayden Brule, 21-17, 21-4 for the Boys 13-Under crown.  Flores is playing in the 13-Under Big Ball Singles and Doubles final on Sunday.  

In the tournament's youngest division, Ethan Noriega out of Whittier, CA took down Marco Barrera in two games, 21-4, 21-5 

See Saturday's draws and results HERE.


 

VENICE BEACH, Calif. -- The first title of the 2019 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships was decided on Friday afternoon.  JJ Arellano and Freddy Reyes, Jr. met in the Boy's 13-Under A final as the sun began to set over the Pacific Ocean.  Arellano started strong with a 21-16 win, but Reyes quickly turned the match's momentum, scoring in bunches with a three-wall z-serve.  Down 20-15 and looking at a possible tiebreaker, Arellano chipped away at the lead, eventually scoring match point with a deep shot to the left corner.  

In Boy's 19-Under action, Jonathan Gutierrez scored the first big upset, upending defending champion Jesus Mendez in the semifinals, 21-8, 21-13.  Gutierrez made a point to keep his shots along with wall, driving his opponent back and off the court when making any returns.  

Mendez acknowledged, "Playing small ball, [Gutierrez] had way more experience than me."   

Gutierrez meets doubles partner Luis Mendez in tomorrow's 19-Under final.  Mendez stopped David Sanchez in two games, 21-17, 21-8.

Once again, the Southern California Handball Association made sure every junior player had an abundance of hospitality on the second day.  See Friday's draws and results HERE.


VENICE BEACH, Calif. -- The 2019 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships kicked off on Thursday with small ball singles and doubles action.  While 11-10 tiebreakers are usually reserved for later rounds, the 11-Under division produced the tournament's first.  Ethan Noriega (Whittier, CA) and Andres Estrella (Los Angeles), the division's No. 4 and No. 5 seeds battled for three games before Noriega scored the final point, causing the stands of supporters to erupt with applause (final score:  21-20, 9-21, 11-10). 

All other top seeds advanced to survive another day of handball at the beach in their respective divisions.   

The Southern California Handball Association made sure every junior player had an abundance of new handball gear for this year's juniors.  Players were given a hat and three shirts as part of their tournament swag bag. 

Junior handballers get to play three-wall just a few steps off the World Famous Venice Beach Boardwalk next to Muscle Beach.  The unique drop-down format gives players the best experience (a guaranteed three-match minimum). 

See Thursday's draws and results HERE.

 

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2019 USHA National Masters Doubles

ALBUQUERQUE -- Joe Harris (setting for a backwall shot) and George Garcia Jr. overcame a first-game deficit to defeat Andy Schad and Dan Zimet in the youngest division offered.  Jim Karner won his first doubles and Rick Leonard got his first Masters title over defending champs John Stoffel and Mike Wells. William Cervantes earned his 10th and Grand Masters over a tired Lloyd Garcia and Dan Passolt.  Garcia and Passolt had beaten Greg Sizemore and Phil Kirk in a tiebreaker earlier in the 60s.  Sizemore rebounded to win the 65s with Bob Lohmueller over Glenn Carden and Gary Eisenbooth.  Merv Deckert and Ed Campbell took the 70s over Rob Nichols and Greg Stansbury.  Ron Cole also earned his Grand Master sweater with the 75s title, teaming Gary Rohrer.  And, Ed Grossenbacher teamed with Norm Young to win his 56th Masters title and tie Max Lasskow for the winningest Masters players of all time.

See the 2019 National Masters Doubles Draws & Results HERE.

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