73rd USHA Four-Wall Nationals at Los Cab!

Banquet and Tom Sove Hall of Fame Ceremony:

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. — Saturday night of the tournament players gathered in the Terrace room at the Los Caballeros Sports Village for the banquet. 

After opening remarks from USHA Executive Director Matt Krueger and USHA President Denis Hogan, World Handball Council member Dessie Keegan was invited up to speak on the 2024 World Handball Championships taking place in Ireland later this year. Keegan said Ireland is excited to play host this year to the World’s and hoping for large contingent of Americans to make the trip across the pond. 

Next, Jim Ward was honored with his Grand Master sweater. Grand Master sweater’s are awarded to players who have won 10 age division national titles. Ward earned his last year at the Master Doubles, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down at 80 years old as he has already added one title this weekend with a chance at another. 

Next was Tom Sove’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. It began with a speech from Gary Cruz. Cruz and Sove have worked countless hours together administrating tournaments. Cruz went over all Sove has done for handball, from chairing committee’s to raising thousands of dollars for the development of handball and everything in between. 

Next was Sove’s daughter Erica, who played handball at Lake Forest and spent many years with her dad around handball. She let her dad know who was the better player and reminded him who had more national titles, but also made sure the crowd knew just how much her father loved handball and the hours he has dedicated to it. 

Lastly, USHA Board Member LeaAnn Martin gave the final speech on Sove and officially welcomed him in to the Hall of Fame. Martin and Sove have spent decades together on the Board and have formed a strong relationship through the good times and bad times of handball. 

In Sove’s acceptance speech, he touched on how much the game has meant to him and thanked several people who have helped him grow the sport over the years. He of course went over some of the rules of our game and reminded everyone to wear your eye guards when you’re on the court!

He closed by urging players to continue playing and to support our youth and collegiate programs, as they are the future of the game going forward. 

You watch the banquet video on our YouTube Channel HERE. 

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Early Tournament Recap:

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. — The Los Caballeros Sports Village was a welcome site to handball players at the 73rd USHA Four-Wall Nationals. It’s a beautiful facility, and the near 270 players enjoyed seeing old friends as they renewed their rivalries on the court. 

With only eight courts available, days have been filled with handball from the early a.m. to the late p.m. hours, and players and spectators have packed the galleries for all of them. 

In the Men’s Open, defending champion Martin Mulkerrins has looked dominant in his title defense. Mulkerrins held Sam Esser to singles digits in each game of their quarterfinal match, and then did the same to Leo Canales Jr. in their semifinal match. Canales Jr. had an impressive quarterfinal win over 2022 national champion Diarmuid Nash.

Mulkerrins will take on Killian Carroll in the final who has looked equally strong. Carroll made quick work of rising star Ray Ure in his quarterfinal, before outlasting Sean Lenning in the semifinal.

Lenning knocked Carroll out in the semifinals last year, and Carroll looked motivated to defeat Lenning this time. The first game Carroll was flawless and won handily. Game two saw Lenning come to life and the players traded blows throughout the game. Carroll kept fighting though, and fought off 5 of Lenning serves at game point! He finally closed out game two 21-20 to advance to the finals.

The heavyweight battle in the mens open final between Carroll and Mulkerrins will take place Sunday at noon. 

On the Women’s side, all of the top four seeds have advanced and the semifinals are set. 

Fiona Tully and Ashley Ruiz will do battle on the top side of the bracket, while Danielle Daskalakis and Clodagh Munroe will face off on the bottom half. None of these players have dropped even a game so far and both semifinals should be exciting.

You can follow along with all the draws HERE.

 
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FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. —The 73rd USHA Four-Wall Nationals have arrived! Over 250 players will be competing at the Los Caballeros Sports Village. Play will begin with singles on Thursday morning and conclude with the doubles finals on Monday morning. 
 

Start times and draws will be posted on Monday, May 20th. When they are available, you can view them HERE. Please be sure to check them each day leading up to the tournament as times are subject to change.

Defending champion Martin Mulkerrins headlines the Men’s Open draw, and he has his hands full with a tough field that includes former champions Killian Carroll and Diarmaid Nash, as well as several other top pro players. 
 
Fiona Tully has fallen short in the Women’s Open final the last two years to Catriona Casey, but without Casey in the tournament this year, she’ll try to win her first USHA Four-Wall National Open title against a stout group of women that include Danielle Daskalakis, Ashley Ruiz, Mikaila Esser, Clodagh Munroe, Aoife Holden and many more!
 
Tom Sove will have his Hall of Fame Ceremony on Saturday night during the banquet. Sove has been a tremendous asset to handball over the years and has committed 40-plus years of service to handball where he has been dedicated to making the sport better. Tickets to the banquet can be purchased at the tournament desk for $45, and are not included with the entry fee. 
 
Reserved Pro seats will be sold at the tournament desk. There are only a limited number of seats remaining. We will be livestreaming matches on our YouTube Channel.
 
A tentative schedule of the tournament:
 
– Wed., May 24: Early registration at the Los Cab Sports Village (4-7 p.m.). Warm-up and free play from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m.
– Thurs., May 25: Play begins with singles in the morning. If you come up short, be sure to come back and referee and also sign up for a drop-down event.
– Sat., May 27: Men’s Open Singles Semifinals will take place. The USHA Reception & Hall of Fame Ceremony for Tom Sove will take place inside the Los Cab Sports Village at 6pm.
-Sun. May 28: Men’s Singles Finals and Women’s Semifinal will take place. Doubles semifinals in Men’s and Women’s Open. 
– Mon., May 29: Women’s Singles Final. Men’s & Women’s Open Doubles Finals. All other Finals through 2 p.m.