NEWS

57th USHA National One-Wall Championships

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Timbo Gonzalez is Mr. One-Wall, 2017.  The athletic national Wallball champ added another slam, beating Billy O'Donnell in the singles and teaming with Jurell Bastidas to top Michael Schneider and William Polanco.   Andy Rousseau slammed in the masters, taking the top prize over Robert Sostre in singles and teaming with Jared Vale to beat Sostre and Pete Pellegrini in the doubles. Final results for the 57th USHA National One-Wall Championships HERE.

By Glenn T. Hall
     The summer of 2017 will be remembered as the “Year of One-Wall.” Our first National Championship of the season was the Small Ball Junior Nationals, the second year in-a-row we joined forces with the Inner City Handball Association. This year’s event featured players from out of the New York Metro area and drew a total 102 contestants. This was all made possible by the collaborative effort of USHA, ICHA and WPH.
     Next, the Wallball Nationals offered the richest prize money list ever and also drew over 100 contestants. There were upsets and new stars in the women’s doubles while Timothy Gonzalez reclaimed the top spots in the men’s events. 
     Our Small Ball Nationals, held August 3-6 are a day shorter than usual and are next on the agenda.  The prize money purse will top $10,000, and the USHA Board will be in town, holding their first summer board meeting in the Big Apple.  That they join us at the one-wall is historic but of even greater importance is that the Borough of Brooklyn has declared Saturday August 5th “Handball Day” and the Brooklyn President is presenting the Citation and proclamation to our USHA President, LeaAnn Martin.  The men’s division expects to be among the largest fields in years, drawn by the big prize money purse.  And, are there any challengers to unseat the five-time Masters Doubles champs of Figueroa and Roberts? 
     Finally, the USHA partners again later in the month of August with the ICHA to offer the Junior Wallball Nationals.  Wallball continues to grow as the most popular one-wall game in New York and the competition should prove exciting.  Additionally, we have Flushing Bank, an important local Community Bank, as our sponsor to help fund the cost of the event. So, make plans to see all of our one-wall action!  
 
Only a few steps away from the iconic Coney Island Boardwalk, there are plenty of attractions to enjoy while not on the courts!
 
Who are the defending champs?  See the 2016 USHA National One-Wall Championships RESULTS HERE.
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A Closer Look: Randy Morones

The following feature appears in the May 2017 Handball Magazine.
USHA Members can access the full e-Magazine issue by logging on and visiting the "Member Section."
Not a USHA Member? 
JOIN HERE.

 

Morones' lesson: 'Take the right road'

Imprisoned since 2003, former pro shares advice
 

Former pro player Randy Morones with wife Sofia.

By Marc Penick
Many of you may recall the shock of hearing about former pro player Randy Morones being sentenced to 20 years to life for the hit-and-run killing of a young man in Los Angeles in 2003. We spoke to Morones, now 46, by telephone from Avenal State Prison in central California.

The Morones family has some very gifted handball players. Who is the best player in the Morones family?
Well, my uncle Bob was the best three- wall player. In four-wall, when I was young and coming up, my dad Dave would beat me at singles. After I got a little older and started playing on the pro tour, Dad stopped playing singles with me and we played doubles together. Honestly I think Dave was the better player until I got a little older, and then I became the better player.
 
I’ve seen a picture showing you as a young boy with a large group of players and Tony Huante at Tucson Athletic Club. Did you train with Tony a lot when you were young?
I liked going with Tony’s group because there were young guys my age to hang out and play handball with. I wasn’t one of Tony’s kids in the sense that he coached me and taught me the game. But I did like to join them and go to tournaments when I was little.
 
What other people helped you in your handball career?
I spent most of my early career in a court by myself practicing left hand against right hand. When I turned 12, I started playing tournaments and progressed from there.
 
You were a top-ranked pro in your day. What was it like for you to compete with the best players?
I loved playing handball with my friends, with my family and with the other open and pro players. I loved singles and doubles. It was exciting to work my way up in the sport. I played all the time.
 
You are battling a tough case of valley fever that hit you last fall. You underwent back surgery to remove a tumor. Your wife Sofia told me you are fighting this illness with everything you have.
Yes, I have been in pain for several months while the doctors tried to figure out the cause and then started treating it. I have constant back pain and some nerve damage in my legs. I am hoping and praying for recovery.
 
How is life at Avenal? What do you do with your time?
Since moving to Avenal, I have not played much handball. At Chowchilla, there was a nice concrete one-wall court. The guys would challenge me, and I had fun showing them how the game is played. There aren’t any decent courts at Avenal, so I haven’t been playing. Mostly I spend time in classes, working to meet the requirements for release.
 
Do you have many friends there?
We are social, of course. But I mostly stay busy talking with Sofia and attending my classes.
 
Randy, what happened in your life that caused you to end up in prison?
I was messing up ... bad. It’s on me and I am paying for it. I’m sorry it happened. I have been down for over 13 years. I learned that you have to do the time and not let the time do you. I want to start life over again when I get out. I would not go down the same path again.
 
Dave told me there is hope you may be released in five years or so.
I am hoping to go to the parole board in five years. We are hoping and praying for release by 2023.
 
What will you do if released?
Go home to Fresno and live with my wife Sofia. She is a great woman and she loves me. I also want to see my family and friends when I’m back outside.
 
You have two sons, Randy and R.J. Are you in touch with them?
I have communicated with Randy Jr. R.J. kind of does his own thing and we have lost touch. I don’t blame him. He is a young man now. I love them both and I am proud of them.
 
Many handball players remember you and still care about you. What do you want them to know?
To all my friends and competitors: I miss — really miss — going to tournaments like the nationals and competing. You know, handball players are like family. I will hopefully be out there with you all again one day.
 
Would you possibly start playing again if you are released?
I would love to start playing again if I am able. Is there anything else you would like the readers to know? To all you young players: You have choices in your life. Make the right decisions. Never take your life and the gifts you have for granted. Take the right road, and you will be happier in your life.
 
Read the interview of Randy along with father Dave and uncle Bob on the next page. 





RANDY MORONES’ USHA TITLES
1982: 13-under, junior nationals, Tucson
1983: 15-under, junior nationals, Burlingame, Calif.
1987: 23-under, four-wall nationals, Baltimore
1988: 19-under, junior nationals, Burlingame, Calif.
1988: Open doubles runner-up (Haynes), four-wall, Berkeley
1990: Open doubles runner-up (Haynes), four-wall, Atlanta
1993: Pro singles runner-up, four-wall nationals, Baltimore
DAVE MORONES’ USHA TITLES
1985: 35+ singles, Masters Singles, Las Vegas
1986: 35+ singles, four-wall nationals, Houston
1987: 35+ singles, four-wall nationals, Baltimore
1987: 35+ singles, Masters Singles, Charlotte
1989: 40+ singles, four-wall nationals,  Palatine, Ill.
1990: 40+ singles, four-wall nationals,  Atlanta
1990: 40+ doubles (Lou Marquez), four-wall nationals, Atlanta
2002: 50+ doubles (Ken Eng), four-wall nationals, Las Vegas
2002: 50+ doubles (Ken Eng), Masters Doubles, San Diego
2005: 55+ doubles (Tim Ryan), four-wall nationals, Houston
Left: Dave and Randy Morones on August ‘87 Handball cover.
Tight Morones clan weathers storm
By Marc Penick
     The Morones family has experienced the joy of being consistent winners in handball. Like many of us, they have experienced downfalls and trials in life as well, particularly Randy’s imprisonment.
     If you attended or read about the Bob Harris Open this February in Las Vegas, you may have noticed the return of Dave and Bob to tournament play.
     Bob is a longtime open-level singles and doubles player in Southern California. Yet he is arguably not the best handball player in the Morones family.
     Bob’s older brother, Dave, and Dave’s son, Randy, had extraordinary careers from the 1970s through the ’90s. Randy was a pro tour regular. Dave won many open singles and doubles events around the West and 10 national age-group titles as well.
     Dave and Bob grew up in Pico Rivera, Calif., in a family of four boys and four girls. Most of the family still lives in Southern California, and they stay connected. Their father Martin died in 2016 and their mother Betty in 2015. Randy is Dave’s second son.

Let’s talk about your families today.
Bob: I’m married to my wife Lynn. Her sister worked at the Hacienda Heights club and introduced us. We have one son, Gary, 23. He excels in soccer and martial arts. He manages a bakery called 85 Degrees.
Dave: My wife Virginia and I have three children: Vince, Randy and Antonette. I have another son, David Jr. We have nine grandchildren: Randy, R.J., Alexis, Ryan, Jacob, Anissa, David III, Elena and Melikie.  
Randy: My wife Sofia and I were married in May 2015. Her brother Robert introduced us. We started by talking on the prison phone a little at a time. Sofia is my best friend, and she helps me stay positive while I am in here. I have two sons, Randy, 26, and R.J., 18.    

So you guys started outdoors, hitting the big ball at Smith Park in Pico Rivera?
Dave: Yes, my dad would take us to Smith Park to play three-wall. We would pick up tennis balls and shave them to use as handballs. We learned our skills playing local guys, plus guys who were released from the local jail. My dad would arrange games for us at the park. Later I met John Chavez, a fireman from Pico Rivera. He invited me to play indoors at the station. I was reluctant at first because I only knew about handball at the park.  
Bob: I was the youngest of eight kids. I started at 8 years old. We would all go to Smith Park, where we played three-wall big-ball. We played every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. It was a way of life for us. Dave was the best player.
Randy: I started playing handball as a young boy when my dad would take me to the Longhorn Club. I practiced on my own for years. When I was 14, I started competing in open tournaments. I played open singles and open doubles with my dad.

Bob Morones (right) with wife Lynn, son Gary and Maggie the dog on a sunny day last winter.

In the mid-’70s, Dave became a force in SoCal handball. From their club, he and Bob challenged the other handball hotbeds in Los Angeles.
Bob: When my brother Dave became a top player, we joined Longhorn Club in La Habra. It was a single-court club. We had two open teams, and we would challenge Long Beach Athletic Club. They had Matt Kelly, Stuffy Singer, Skip McDowell and other great players. I have played doubles with many great partners, including Poncho Monreal, Jack Hulick and my brother Dave.
Dave: Los Angeles had a lot of great players. I got to play Stuffy Singer, Paul Haber, Naty Alvarado, Jim Vandenbos and many other great players. I realized playing against such talent, you can’t win all the time, but I’d try to play my best every match.  

Name some favorite tournament wins.
Bob: Poncho and I won the open tournament at Hacienda Athletic Club two years in a row. The first year we beat Doug Glatt and Larry Morefield. The next year we beat Dave and Randy in the final. Those were good wins!
Dave: Every tournament win is a great experience. One time I played Paul Haber. He was so good at ceiling balls! After losing the first game, I was determined to cut off every shot so he couldn’t set up on his ceiling balls. It worked. I used to play Richard Lopez (Valenzuela) a lot as he was coming up. I remember one tournament in Whittier, Richard and I were playing in the final for prize money. He won the first game and joked about me being an old man. I won the next two games and told him, “You had the money, Richard. Next time don’t get me mad.” Richard is my good friend. I introduced him to his wife Donna. When I got older I started playing in age-group singles and doubles at the USHA nationals. I won 10 national titles from 1985 to 2005.   
Randy: One year my dad and I won the open doubles in Fresno. Then we had to play each other in the singles final! I made the national pro singles final in 1993 and played David Chapman, but David won. In 1990, Dennis Haynes and I played Doug Glatt and Rod Prince in the national open doubles final. They won 11-10 … we were so close! I’m sorry to hear about Dennis’ passing this year. He was a very good player.

Name some Morones family handball rivals out there over your careers.  
Bob: Naty Alvarado was the greatest rival in our time … for everyone. He was the best player. There were so many other good players we competed with — Don Chamberlin, David Chapman, Doug Glatt, Jack Hulick, Matt Kelly, Skip McDowell, Lew Morales, Jim Vandenbos. L.A. is a great place to play handball.

Who was your favorite doubles partner?
Bob: Jack Hulick, Dave Morones and Poncho Monreal. Jack was the best two-handed player around. Poncho was an exceptional player. My brother Dave is so tenacious! I am more of a finesse player.
Dave: Randy, Bob, Lou Marquez, Red Gastulem. I also played doubles with David Chapman when he was young.
Randy: My dad Dave was by far my favorite partner. We always knew where each other was and who would take the shot.  

Name your favorite pro players.
Bob: Paul Haber was so good, so consistent, and he had a lot of heart. But Naty Alvarado … he was something else.
Dave: Randy was my favorite pro! I had a chance to play many of them in my day. Naty Alvarado was the best in my time.
Randy: Early in my pro career my toughest matches came from Tati Silveyra and John Bike. Later David Chapman came up, and he became the best for many years.

What are your favorite hobbies when not playing handball?  
Bob: My wife Lynn and I like to visit the local casinos. We also like to hang out with our son Gary. I am still working. I have a truck and operate a delivery service.     
Dave: I ride bicycles with my brother Martin. I talk to Randy all the time on the phone. We also enjoy camping with our grandkids. I retired a few years back.

Dave, you had a battle with colon cancer not long ago. How are you doing?
Dave: I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. The doctors performed surgery to remove a section of my colon. It was kind of rough for a while. I lost weight and stopped playing. Now I’m feeling better and coming back to the courts again. Bob and I just played a doubles event in Las Vegas this year. (They won the 60-plus doubles.)
 

Dave Morones and wife Virginia relax on the sofa with six of their nine grandchildren.

     Southern California is richer because of the Moroneses’ influence on the game over the decades. They are richer because of their
family loyalty and pride in what they do.  
     If you see Dave, Bob — or eventually Randy — out on the courts, take some time to observe their game styles … unique, aggressive and with a lot of heart.
 
 
A Closer Look by Marc Penick (pdf) HERE.
 
 
 
 
From the Author: 
 
I am happy to hear that our interview with Randy Morones has caught the members’ attention.  Sadly, Randy is back in the hospital fighting the Valley Fever infection which has reappeared in his back.  His wife Sofia and I spoke over the weekend.  Because Randy is an inmate and is hospitalized currently, those who might want to reach out to him may do so by contacting Sofia Morones at her email address:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

She sees Randy regularly and she will get him all the messages she receives.  It is a good thing for our players who care about Randy to reach out to him.  He could use a little extra some love right now during a tough time in his life. 

Thank you USHA for printing this interview.  My thanks to all of you who take the time to reach out to Randy as well.
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2017 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships

VENICE BEACH, Calif. -- In a classic NorCal vs. SoCal clash, the battle for Boy's 19-Under supremacy reached a boiling point on Sunday after simmering for two days at the 2017 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships.  The Boy's 19-Under Small Ball singles final would be the rubber match between Anthony Sullivan (San Jose) and Andrew Garcia (Los Angeles).  Garcia stunned Sullivan on Friday, winning the Big Ball singles in a tiebreaker.  The next day, with the help of doubles partner Jon Gutierrez, Sullivan exacted some revenge by defeating defending champions Garcia and Brandon Ramirez for the Small Ball Doubles title.  On Sunday, Sullivan and Garcia slugged it out for three games, battling fatigue and each other's desire to win before Sullivan prevailed, 21-1, 13-21 and 11-6. 

As soon as the match started, it appeared Sullivan would win in a walkover, hopping and hooking serves for which Garcia had no answer.  Needing what seemed the entire first game to adjust, Garcia battled back in the second game, building a nice lead and holding it to force the deciding tiebreaker.  Sullivan owned the serve to start, and shot out to a commanding 7-0 lead, but this time Garcia ferociously answered.  The two exchanged a number of lengthy rallies that pleased the Venice Beach crowds that started to gather.  After burning their timeouts, the exhausted finalists each welcomed a required glove change timeout to catch their breath.  Once the action resumed, Sullivan pressed harder to pick up the remaining points to clinch his title.  Down to match point, Garcia dug out a side out to delay any celebration for Sullivan, but the NorCal phenom regained the serve and scored the last needed point for the title. 

In other action, Luis Mendez (Santa Barbara) won the Boy's 17-Under Small Ball crown, defeating Jorge Pimentel (Tucson) in two games.  The win gave Mendez his second National Juniors title after winning a Four-Wall championships earlier this summer at Los Caballeros. 

There was nobody better in the Boy's 15-Under division (small ball or big ball!) than Jesus "El Diamante" Mendez.  The SoCal product from Los Angeles controlled both finals in two games, winning the Big Ball title over Fernando Espindola (Orange, CA) and the Small Ball championship over Joahan Campos (Kansas City).  

After suffering disappointment in the Boy's 13-Under Big Ball final, Anthony Sanchez (Los Angeles) edged Luis Fernandez (Santa Barbara) in an exciting 13-Under Small Ball final, 18-21, 21-13 and 11-3.

Finally, Kena Byrd-Jackson and Marisol Maldonado defeated Belisa Camacho and Sophie Della Croce in an All-Tucson Girls 17-Under Doubles final, winning 21-10 and 21-12. 

Thank you to all the tournament volunteers, organizers and contributors who made the 2017 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships a success!   Sunday was the birthday of LAFD Handball's Roy Harvey, who will also be inducted into the Southern California Handball Hall of Fame next month.  To show their appreciation, players, coaches and families gathered and sang Happy Birthday to Harvey on court one (below).

See the 2017 USHA National Junior Three-Wall Championships final results HERE.


SATURDAY

VENICE BEACH, Calif. -- The summer crowds mixed with SoCal natives and tourists from all over the world filled up the boardwalk to take in another beautiful day at the beach.  Many who passed by the handball courts nestled between Muscle Beach and the Pacific Ocean stopped to watch high-level action as many finals played out on Saturday at the 2017 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships.

In the Girl's Singles final, Kena Byrd-Jackcson defeated Team 520 teammate Belisa Camacho in two games, 21-6, 21-4.

Next, Tucson's Ayden Brule swept the 11-under Small Ball and Big Ball divisions, defeated Xavier Flores of Los Angeles in each final.

In Boys Big Ball action, Ricardo Renteria of Los Angeles drubbed Ricky Serrano in the Boy's 17-Under final, 21-3, 21-0.  Serrano put together some great rallies throughout the match, but the Bellflower High product controlled the court, sending the ball deep along both walls. 

Eddie "Torito" Rocha from Lake Elsinore, CA also dominated his championship final, defeating LA's Anthony Sanchez 21-2, 21-0 for the Boys 13-Under Big Ball title.  

Both 19-Under Boys doubles finals were play at the day's end, showing off the best doubles competition as the sun lowered on the Pacific.   Jacob Hernandez and Fernando Balladares battled Jose Hernandez and Eduardo Garcia for two tough games, prevailing 21-17 and 21-19 for the Big Ball crown. 

In small ball play, Anthony Sullivan and Jonathan Gutierrez clicked at the right time as they upended defending champions Brandon Ramirez and Andrew Garcia, 21-15, 21-9. 

Sullivan and Garcia will see each other again in Sunday's Boy's 19-Under Small Ball final.

See Saturday's results HERE.


FRIDAY

VENICE BEACH, Calif. -- The second day of the 2017 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships at the Venice Beach Rec Center gave fans and players even more competitive matches and ended with a few championships decided.  

The first major title was the Boys 15-Under Small Ball Doubles which was decided by four Santa Barbara TGOP products:  Bryan Trejo and Daniel Mora vs. Luis Fernandez and Oswaldo Perez.  Fernandez and Perez struck first with a surprising game one victory, but Trejo and Mora battled back to force the tiebreaker where they edged their teammates, 11-6 for the title. 

To wrap the day's action up, Andrew Garcia (right) and Anthony Sullivan played for the Boys 19-Under Big Ball singles crown and provided a glimpse of what to expect for a Boys 19-Under Small Ball final.  Sullivan looked strong early, ringing up a seven-point lead en route to a 21-19 game one win.  But in the second, Garcia showed off his Big Ball prowess, mixing up speed and power to force a deciding third set.  In the tiebreaker, Garcia rolled, jumping to a 7-0 lead to route Sullivan 11-1 for the crown. 

"I ran out of gas in the second," Sullivan said.  "I used up everything in the first and couldn't adjust after." 

Garcia credited his win to settling down and letting his game come to him in the second and third sets.  "I was rushing things, and my shots were off in the first game."  Friday's outcome produced more drama to a possible Sunday rematch in Small Ball. 

SCHA continued to roll out the red carpet for junior players and families on Friday.  Mark Zamora, aka "Rapper" manned the grill which provided delicious tacos for all participants and families.  (If you really want to get your mouth watering, check out the United States Handball Association's Facebook video of what was served!).

During a small break in the action, former junior champion and R48Pro Mando Ortiz with Tucson's pro qualifier Abe Montijo gave the kids a thrill with a player clinic on the main court.  Kids worked on their serve and were shown how to cut the ball off on the three-wall court.  Special thanks to both players for sharing their time teaching the next generation better skills!  

See today's results HERE.


THURSDAY

VENICE BEACH, Calif. -- Sunshine, sand and waves greeted junior handball players on Thursday morning for the 2017 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships at the Venice Beach Rec Center.  The  players were also treated to a generous "swag bag" which included three shirts, wristbands, a hat and more.  The Southern California Handball Association, LAFD Handball, and a host of supporters made sure the kids were rewarded for making the commitment to play in this year's tournament. 

With 79 entrants, the Venice Beach Rec Center's four courts were in use the entire day with small ball and big ball matches!  Gary Cruz, Marcus Hough, Roy Harvey, Jim Vandenbos, Andy Gutierrez, Rick Wheelock and a number of other local volunteers made sure all the junior players were well-fed and had good officials refereeing matches from start-to-finish. 

One of the day's final matches took place between Santa Barbara teammates Grace Ramos and Mileyni Sanchez.  Ramos advanced, but Sanchez put up a tremendous fight in the second game, nearly forcing a tiebreaker only to fall short 14-15.  The two new players from the Santa Barbara TGOP program shared a handshake, hug and walked off the court together smiling ear-to-ear.  It was a tremendous show of sportsmanship and the Spirit of Handball. 

See today's results HERE.

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2017 USHA National Masters Doubles

CINCINNATI -- The Munson brothers were devastating in the 35s as they marched through the strong field, including Dave Bardwell and Nick Mattioni in the final.  ICRCTV was on site streaming two finals and you'll be able to watch them on demand.  The 35 Singles final has been uploaded to the U.S. Handball YouTube Channel HERE.

Shane Conneely and Stas Hammond rallied to defeat Andy Rousseau and Jared Vale in a great 40 final. Andy Schad and Dan Zimet turned back the determined Rousseau and Vale in the 45s as well.  Jim Wohl and Jake Esser won a grueling 50 final over John Allen and Scott Walker.  Alan Frank and Joe Berman stopped Marty Clemens and Dave McElwain's run in the 55s.  Dave Dohman and Scott Rosenthal beat Mike Linnik and Tom Fitzwater to add the indoor to their outdoor title.  Vance McInnis and Ed Campbell won the 65 title over Bob Dyke and Dave Schmelz.  Bob Bardwell and Dave Hinkleman were impressive in the 70s, turning back Gary Rohrer and Ron Cole in the final.  Ed Grossenbacher and Vince SanAngelo reunited for the 75s title over Bob Braine and Norm Young.  And in the 80s, it's been 25 years since Al Green survived a heart attack and now he's one of a select few to win titles in one-, three-, and four-wall.  Green teamed with Ed Woerner to outlast the 85-eligible Lew Buckingham and Ben Marguglio in a tiebreaker.

The GCHA provided great hospitality all weekend for the players and fans, rewarded the largest field in seven years for coming to the Queen City.

See the draws and results HERE.

 

 

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67th USHA National Four-Wall Championships

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. -- Sean Lenning and Marcos Chavez once again proved there's nobody better when it comes to doubles. The longtime four- and three-wall team won their third consecutive title, defeating Vic Perez and Armando Ortiz 9-21, 21-3 and 11-9. The match-up was a repeat of the 2015 final, and it ended with the same 11-9 score. Perez's service game and Ortiz's hot shooting set them up for a chance at their first title, but both Chavez and Lenning made key shots down the stretch to seal the title.

 
 

In Women's Open singles, Catriona Casey won her third consecutive singles crown defeating Women's Classic champion Tracy Davis 21-8, 21-5. Davis started the match serving well, keeping pace with Casey to tie the score at 8-8, but the defending champ soon adjusted to Davis' power and cruised to the title. Ashley Moler defeated Jennifer Schmitt 21-14, 21-11 for third place.

Gabino "G-Man" Velazquez became the first USHA Four-Wall Big Ball Singles Champion pulling out a win over Sal Duenas, 21-9, 21-18. Duenas made every attempt to force a tiebreaker only to come up short as Velazquez executed key shots down the stretch to seal the win. It's worth noting that Velazquez survived an 11-10 first-round scare against Stockton's Antonio Chavez.

Duenas wouldn't be denied in the doubles final. Pairing with Big Ball powerhouse Samzon Hernandez, the team held off Stockton's Christian Salcedo and Chava Cordova from completing an improbable upset. Trailing 18-19 in the second game (after losing the first 21-20), Hernandez and Duenas earned the sideout and closed out the second game 21-19 to force the deciding tiebreaker. Their momentum carried them to an 11-3 win for the title.

Finally, one of the most exciting junior finals of 2016 (3-Wall Juniors) producing an intense sequel indoors. This time Bryan Trejo of Santa Barbara defeated David Sanchez 15-21, 21-14, 11-10. The pair hope to play the rubber match this month in Venice Beach at the Junior Three-Wall Nationals (July 20-23).

"Thank yous" go out to Los Cab and Mike Kane, Southern California Handball Association, Gary Cruz and all the incredible volunteers who made the 67th USHA National Four-Wall Championships a success!

And, "Thank You" to the WPH for capturing all the exciting action and streaming matches live.

FINAL Results (draws) can be viewed HERE.

WATCH SUNDAY'S FINALS REPLAY HERE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GPhtfIXkV8&feature=youtu.be

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. -- In one of the most heavily anticipated rematches in recent history, Killian Carroll defeated Paul Brady, 21-19, 21-6 to successfully defend his singles title. Both players dominated their sides of the draw leading up to their showdown on Saturday. Brady was arguably playing his most dominant handball in years, leaving opponents in single digits throughout the week; while Carroll looked equally sharp. The two battled point-for-point in the first game, much to the delight of Los Cab's packed gallery. For every Brady ace or kill, Carroll would match with an unreal retrieve or re-kill. While Brady held a small lead late, Carroll rallied to take the first game by two points. In the second game, Carroll rolled to a huge lead and held on for championship point. If you didn't get to watch the WPH Live broadcast of the final, it will be available for replay.

On Thursday night, handball players and families were able to honor the person who was instrumental in bringing the National Four-Wall (and other major tournaments) to Los Caballeros in Orange County:  Gary Cruz.  Cruz was inducted into the Handball Hall of Fame as a Contributor for his tremendous work for over two decades. In addition to his work behind the scenes at tournaments, Cruz spearheaded the USHA's Development Program and First Ace since 2004.  USHA President LeaAnn Martin presented Cruz with his jacket, Hall of Fame plaque and oil painting by Dave  Delaney.  In his acceptance speech, Cruz thanked all his family and fellow handball players for making his work within the sport such a rewarding experience.  

 

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2017 USHA National Masters Singles

DENVER -- The altitude brought another element into the usual mix of who wins on Sunday in some events as lowlanders struggled with catching their breath.  But in the 35 singles, Kevin Price rolled to his first national title with an impressive weekend and final win over Victor Sanchez. 
 
Chris Tico overcame local Oliver Boyd in a tough 40 final but had nothing left for George Repine in the 45s.  Paul Pfannenstiel earned another national singles title with a tough tiebreaker win over Joe Tierney.  Mike Flannery is back on top of his game, winning the 55s over Matt Osburn.  Lloyd Garcia was on top of Phil Kirk's offensive game to take the 60s.  Ed Campbell had just enough left to hand Dan Price another runner-up finish in the 65s.  Greg Raya proved too much for the 70s field and ended Michael Jordan's great run through the bottom bracket.  Gary Rohrer is another newcomer to his age bracket and served his way past Mike Driscoll in the 75s. 
 
And, Charlie Wicker upheld his Super Senior status, holding off a game effort from Curtis Creed on Sunday in three after defeating newcomer and runner-up Jerry White in a tiebreaker on Saturday in the 80s.  Killian Carroll had wrapped up the Pro-Am title on Saturday.  Masters singles draws on R2sports site HERE.  

 

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10th Annual USHA Wallball National Championships

CONEY ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congrats to Timothy Gonzalez who slammed the Men's Pro Divisions with partner Allan Sanchez.  Danielle Daskalakis took back the top spot in the Women's Pro Division with a 25-16 win over Sandy Ng.  Biridiana Garcia and Ruby Loyd scored a major upset in the semifinals of the Women's Pro Doubles, upending the super team of Daskalakis and Ng, 25-24 and then went on to win their first National Doubles title, defeating Karen McConney and Lori Hernandez, 25-18.

See final results for the 10th USHA Wallball National Championships Honoring Mal Cohen HERE.

Thanks to Jared Vale for contributing to this report.    

The 10th USHA Wallball Nationals honor Mal Cohen, A Loving Father and Husband, A Great Card Player, A Great Friend, A Fierce Competitor, He is missed by all who knew him That rare individual--that everyone liked.

 

The morning started out with torrential downpours.  Most players endured a long drive and traffic delays (due to weather), to find the sun was out upon arrival; however, there was over a foot of water covering the entrance all the way to the second set of courts.  The whole crew, including players and some of the Coney Island regulars got to work.  The drain was pulled and unclogged and players got buckets and started carrying to the street.  Robert Goffner swept tirelessly while USHA Board Members Jared Vale, Alethia Mendez, with One-Wall Committee Members Karen McConney and Willie Polanco set up camp in a new location – across from court 6 near the board walk.  The tournament was under way by 10:30. 

Once underway, the day was filled with intense games and a lot of positive vibes.  The tournament staff successfully promoted the USHA Small Ball Nationals in August as well as next month's King of the Courts.  Pizza was ordered for lunch!                                                                                                                                      

We're looking forward to an exciting finale tomorrow.

See 2016's Wallball Nationals results HERE.

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Glove Rule Update

By Tom Sove, Game Committee Chair

Rules are intended to ensure fair play and safety. The current glove rule, Rule 2.3.B Style   states:  The usual hitting surfaces of the glove must be light in color and made of a soft material or leather. The fingers may not be webbed, connected or removed.  Any gloves which provide an unfair advantage are not allowed, and must be replaced at the referee’s direction. At the recent January, 2017 board meeting the USHA passed a change to the glove rule, adding the phrase “with wetness easily detected by visual inspection” to the end of the first sentence.

As we all know, the only reason we wear gloves is to keep the ball dry to prevent the ball from sliding during the rally. Obviously, a ball that slides can create an unfair advantage for one player and a disadvantage for the other. This wording is intended to augment the already existing wording that the glove material must be light in color. The USHA believes that fairness demands that a referee may be able to ascertain when a glove is wet enough to affect play before it happens. Hence the wording incorporated includes “light in color” and “wetness detected by visual inspection”.  Without a quick visual inspection (at times, from about 20 feet away), if a referee can only determine wet gloves by rubbing a ball on the glove it is too late to prevent slides, which can certainly create an unnecessary delay in a match. Repeatedly needing to do this creates additional problems.

Recent trends in glove manufacturing have resulted in the introduction of some gloves that do not meet this criteria. They are neither light in color nor readily show wetness by visual inspection. We purposefully did not delineate either glove brands or glove material in the hope that these same providers/manufacturers will still pursue viable gloves that meet the parameters of the rule, and thereby offer more options to our players. In fact, the USHA was actively pursuing a new glove using a synthetic material. However, we were unconvinced the material would meet our own criteria and we halted our efforts.

This issue was brought to us by the WPH. Their valuable input underscored the need to amend the rule. According to David Fink, referees were having problems detecting wet gloves in their pro tournaments, resulting in unfortunate slides affecting outcomes of matches. Not only were officials having problems, even some players weren’t sure if their gloves were wet. Our final version of the rule change was shared with the WPH, and they enthusiastically endorsed and embraced it.  Dave Vincent writes: “I support the article, wording and direction you are taking here.”

The application of the rule is simple. The referee may enforce the removal of an offending glove at any time during a match.

*This article will be published in the next issue of HANDBALL MAGAZINE.

 

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