NEWS

WPH R48Pro VI - Stop #2 - Univ. of Minnesota

Ortiz InterviewMINNEAPOLIS -- The U of M Fall Classic & WPH R48Pro Stop #2 wrapped up on Sunday morning at the University of Minnesota's Recreation and Wellness Center.  In the R48Pro final, Mando Ortiz and David Fink dazzled the crowd with an intense three-game match which Ortiz won 15-4, 8-15, 15-9.  Ortiz came out shooting in the tiebreaker, streaking to a 10-4 lead only to see Fink storm back to make the score close and the outcome in doubt.  Ortiz ultimately pulled away for the win.  The final capped an incredible weekend for Fink, making his first R48Pro final. 

Marcos Chavez and Naty Alvarado Jr. once again met in the SR48Pro final.  While Alvarado jumped out to an early lead in the first game, through resilient play, Chavez came back to win 15-13 and 15-11. 

See the WPH write-up with updated rankings HERE.

See draws and results of the U of M Fall Classic HERE.

If you didn't get to see any of the weekend's action, the R48Pro replay is available at WatchESPN.com or on the Watch ESPN App (Available on iPhone and Android phones).

Image courtesy of WPH. 

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66th USHA National Three-Wall Championships

MAUMEE, Ohio -- The 66th USHA National Three-Wall Championships wrapped up on Labor Day with Marcos Chavez helping Sean Lenning slam, and marking the fifth Open three-wall doubles title for Chavez.  After defeating Tyree and Jurell Bastidas 21-18 in the first game, the defending champs rolled to a big lead in the second.  Trailing 15-8, the Bastidas brothers dug in and appeared ready to overtake their opponents at 18-19; however, a left-handed miss by Tyree gave Lenning and Chavez the side out.  Back in the box, Chavez served up a momentum swinging ace to reach championship point. Then ensuing serve and rally was almost anti-climatic, as another mishit sealed Chavez and Lenning's title defense. 

In Women's action, Hillary Rushe and Ashley Moler secured the Women's Open Doubles title with a two game win over Toledo's Leah Kirk and Deanne Przybylski.  Robin Sterrett and Deb June finished second. 
The Toledo Handball Club again hosted a tremendous tournament.  Players and fans were met with a gleaming freshly-painted facility on Thursday.  Once Mike Moran and his crew fired up the grills, they kept handball players and families well fed the entire week.  Thank you to all event sponsors and volunteers who made the 66th USHA National Three-Wall Championships a success!

Final results for the National Three-Wall Championships are available HERE.

SUNDAY

Sean Lenning won his eighth Three-wall National Singles title with an impressive win over Tyree Bastidas, 21-17, 21-12.  This year's contest wasn't the lopsided affair from 2015.  Bastidas looked in control for much of the first game, cruising to a 17-10 lead.  After a timeout, Lenning went on a tear, scoring 11 unanswered points to steal the first game and the match's momentum.  Once the second game started, Lenning raced to a 6-0 lead before Bastidas scored his first.  Leading 10-3, Lenning delivered kills, passes and aces, and en route to scoring his 17th point, ran down a deep ball for a weak return that Bastidas shot into the floor.  After a Lenning timeout, Bastidas mounted a comeback, getting the score as close as 12-19 before Lenning delivered a kill for the final point.

In Women's Open action, Hillary Rushe of Roscommon, Ireland won her first Three-Wall Women's Open Singles title by defeating Ashley Moler 21-14, 21-9.  Rushe's three-wall play in Chicago helped improve her game with steady and consistent shots, moving Moler around the court en route to victory.  

In Men's Doubles action, both semifinal matches were decided by tiebreakers.  Defending champs Sean Lenning and Marcos Chavez took a first game punch from Mando Ortiz and Braulio Ruiz, losing 12-21.  In the second, Chavez/Lenning began to heat up, and they repaid their opponents by winning by an identical score.  In the tiebreaker, Lenning and Chavez rolled, punching their ticket to the final 11-0.  

In the second semifinal, after winning the first game, Dane and Adam Szatkowski couldn't muster consistency on offense and fell to Tyree and Jurell Bastidas, 16-21, 21-5 and 11-3.

Matches begin tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. with the tournament closing with the USHA / WPH Big Ball doubles final.  

SATURDAY

The road to the singles title must pass through Sean Lenning.  After Luis Moreno blitzed Lenning in the first game of the semifinal 21-7, there were whispers that the defending champ wouldn't reach this year's final.  But in the second game, a "sleeping giant" awoke.  Many people in the gallery noted how the ball seemed to make a different sound against the wall for Lenning, as the seven-time champ began to crush each shot to force a tiebreaker, winning 21-15.  In the third frame, Lenning stormed out to a 10-0 lead and held on to win 11-4. 

In the second semifinal, Tyree Bastidas blasted the ball deep to keep the hot-shooting Ortiz out of his comfort zone.  After winning the first game 21-8, Bastidas held off a surging Ortiz comeback to close out the win, 21-19.  The rematch of last year's final will showcase the 2015 World One-Wall Champion Lenning against this year's National One-wall Champion Bastidas.  

The Men's Singles Final will be played at 11 a.m. on Sunday and will be filmed by Buckeye Cable Sports Network. 

It's not a Three-Wall Nationals unless the Szatkowski Brothers are involved in a dramatic Men's Open doubles match.  A large crowd from Chicago cheered on the Szatkowskis, who took the first game 21-10, lost a dramatic second game, 21-20, then held off two match points to edge Luis Moreno and Abe Montijo 11-10. They'll face the Bastidas brothers in what promises to be a spectacular semifinal.

Toledo's Matt Osburn was presented his Grand Master Sweater at this year's Three-Wall Championships on Saturday.  Osburn has won many of his required 10 titles to join the exclusive club of champions. Fellow Toledo handballer Phil Kirk made the presentation and introduced Osburn who read an excerpt from his journal he kept as a youth, recalling every handball match he played. Osburn then thanked his wife, family and fellow players who made his handball journey a truly special one.

FRIDAY



The second day of action at the 66th USHA Three-Wall Nationals brought more intense play and punishing tiebreakers as challengers fell to title contenders.  Abraham Montijo played his second tiebreaker in as many days, but couldn’t get past Luis Moreno in the quarterfinals, 16-21, 21-3 and 11-5.  Other top seeds advanced to set up the Men’s Open semifinals where Sean Lenning will face Luis Moreno at 11:00 a.m. (Eastern) and Tyree Bastidas will tussle with Armando Ortiz at Noon. 

Men's Open doubles opened with a pair of tiebreakers.  Tyler Stevens and Ryan Bowler came roaring back from a 21-6 game one loss to defeat Will Lemp and Richard Lynch, 6-21, 21-3 and 11-2.  In the other match, Juan Canelas and Anthony Collado battled Marco and Carlos Lemus for three games, but the Lemus brothers pulled out the win, 18-21, 21-19 and 11-10. 

Canada’s Ivan Burgos fought off match point against Joe Mastropierro, 8-21, 21-20 and 11-8 in the A Singles.  Burgos will meet Ohio’s Joe Frankenfield in the semifinals. 

In 70s action, Keith Thode’s Cinderella story continues, as he outlasted 2015 finalist Carl Valentino.  Down 7-1 in the tiebreaker, Thode made a remarkable 10-0 run to close the match and advance to the semifinals.  The road to the final doesn’t get any easier for Thode as he’ll face Grand Master Mike Meltzer tomorrow at Noon. 


Just in time for the 66th USHA National Three-Wall Championships, the mural by the Toledo School for the Arts gracing the north wall of the Lucas County Rec Center is complete!  The Toledo Handball Club wishes to recognize state handball associations across the country with a sign placed on the mural.  If you're interested in having your association or club listed, please see Jim Smith or George Miller at the Three-Wall Nationals.

THURSDAY --

Singles competition kicked off the 66th USHA Three-Wall Nationals on Thursday at the Lucas County Rec Center.  Later Thursday night, Sean Lenning (Seattle) will begin his title defense against Anthony Collado (Chicago) in the round of 16.  Lenning will  also try to repeat his slam in the doubles with Marcos Chavez. 
    Michigan Handball's Keith Thode is known for capturing thousands of great action shots at Nationals and World Championships.  While Thode's work is featured on Handball Magazine covers and websites, he is rarely captured on film!  On the first day of play, Thode advanced to the quarterfinals of the 70-plus division with a 21-13, 21-14 victory.

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2016 Simple Green U.S. Open of Handball

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. -- It was a furious pace on and off the courts on Sunday as the cameras caught the action inside and out.  In the men's singles final, Robbie McCarthy held off Armando Ortiz for the biggest check of the weekend.  In the photo, Lupita Bike, Bruce FaBrizio and Naty Alvarado congratulate the finalists.  "Just look at this audience," FaBrizio said.  It's all shapes, sizes and ages, just like the balls we're using here at Los Caballeros.  See the results from the Festival of handball at the SGUSO r2sports site HERE

There were some periods of light rain for most of the morning but it eventually caused the end to play outdoors in the afternoon.  The three-wall big ball moved inside where the players proved that they were equally adept at four-wall to the delight of the fans.

This year, the Simple Green U.S. Open carried two WPH Live streams; one on ESPN3 and the other on www.race4eight.com where outdoor and indoor handball could be viewed at the same time!  Replay now available on WatchESPN and the WatchESPN App.  

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2016 USHA National One-Wall Championships


A beautiful Sunday met players and fans who got out to the courts early for some of the makeup matches from the late rain on Saturday.  Tyree  Bastidas capped a great week of play to win his fourth consecutive singles title , this time over Willie Polanco.  Later Bastidas won two doubles matches to complete the singles and doubles slam with Billy O'Donnell over Polanco and Michael Schneider. 
Danielle Daskalakis (shown hitting on Sat. with Huang holding her ground) slammed in the women's events with Sandy Ng as her partner over Theresa Haley and Melissa Sky.  Tony Roberts, George Figueroa, Joe Agosto and Dan Flickstein were all in the winners' circle with their wins bringing them close to, or adding to, their Grand Masters status.  You can follow the 2016 USHA National One-Wall Championships on R2sports HERE.  FINAL RESULTS ARE NOW POSTED.
    Only a few steps away from the iconic Coney Island Boardwalk, there were plenty of attractions to enjoy while not on the courts, so make your plans to attend next year, the first weekend of August, 2017.
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2016 WPH 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships

Timbo Gonzalez (swinging) and Sam Sanford (far left) defeated Carlos Pena and Hector Velez for the Men's 1-Wall Big Ball Doubles title.                                                       
Photo by WPH
LAS VEGAS -- The 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino wrapped up on Sunday and brought handball fans some incredible championship finals.  Timbo Gonzalez and Sam Sanford won the Men's 1-Wall Big Ball Doubles title, pulling away from a 19-19 tie to defeat Carlos Pena and Hector Velez, 25-19. 
 

In other action, Juan Santos defeated Boxer Rosales to win the Men's 3-Wall Big Ball Singles and then teamed with Alfredo Morales to win the 3-Wall Big Ball Doubles, defeating Timbo Gonzalez and Shorty Ruiz.  The slam vaulted Santos to the top of the WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup V standings, giving the Southern California star his fourth Player's Cup in five years. 

Read the WPH full report and event wrap-up HERE.

See the draws and results HERE. Watch the weekend's action replayed at WatchESPN.com or use the WatchESPN App!  Choose the replay tab and scroll to HANDBALL to see the match replay.  (Access may depend on your cable or internet provider).

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2016 USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships

LOS ANGELES -- Championship Sunday in Venice Beach treated handball fans and families with a spectacular show.  Tucson's Carlos Espinoza took home the 19-Under title, producing a stirring comeback against Pasadena's Bryan Pacheco, winning the title 6-21, 21-11, 11-6.  "Pacheco wasn't missing anything in the first game." said referee Marcus Hough.  Espinoza neutralized his opponent's hot shooting in the second game with high percentage passes to win the second.  In the tiebreaker, Espinoza watched Pacheco streak to a 6-0 lead but was able to score 11 unanswered points for the victory.  

Andrew Garcia of Los Angeles kept the Boy's 17-Under crown in Southern California defeating Tucson's Jesus Avila in two games, 21-7, 21-5. Garcia finished the slam with partner Brendan Ramirez, defeating Carlos Espinoza and Jonathan Gutierrez for the 19-Under Doubles title, 21-16, 21-10.  

Jorge Pimentel bested 520 teammate Isac Rios for the 15-Under title 21-6, 21-12.  San Jose's Briant Mendiola and Stockton's David Sanchez won the 15-Under doubles over Pimentel and John Franks in two close games, 21-19, 21-17.  

The match of the day belonged to the Boys 13-Under final where David Sanchez overcame a 6-0 deficit in the tiebreaker to defeat Bryan Trejo of Santa Barbara, 18-21, 21-12, 11-10.  Sanchez had to earn every point, as Trejo dug out a championship point winner to regain the serve at 10-10.  A side out by Sanchez gave him the opportunity to close, which he did with an timely pass down the right wall.

Daniel Mora stopped Luis Fernandez's run in the Junior 11-Under final, winning 21-15, 18-21, 11-0.  

Tucson's Kena Byrd-Jackson won the Girls 17-Under title by finishing undefeated in round robin play.  

Special "Thanks" to the Southern California Handball Association, Larry Fisher, Gary Cruz, and all the volunteers who made the tournament a special treat for the players.  Thank you to West Coast Handball's Mark Zamora for donating fruit and water on Saturday.  And THANK YOU to all coaches (Fred Lewis, Abe Montijo, James Coronado, Patrick Saito and Marco Coromac) and the junior players who showed great sportsmanship and positive attitudes the entire weekend.  Handball's future looks bright!

During a break in the action on Saturday afternoon, juniors were treated to a handball skills clinic from WPH Juniors Coach Braulio Ruiz. Juniors learned specific serves, ceiling warm-ups and took part in a "target" drill with the former USHA National Junior Champion.

Playing just a few feet from the Pacific Ocean, adjacent to the world-famous Venice Beach Boardwalk and Muscle Beach, junior handballers will get a minimum of three matches! Travel assistance is awarded to junior players traveling 250-plus miles one way through Joe Ardito and Wafe Risner Travel Funds! The Presidents Club is matching Ardito Funds for groups with five or more players traveling with a coach.

See today's results, draws and times on R2sports, CLICK HERE.
 
 

 

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Washington Athletic Club's WPH Pre-Race Invitational and Benefit

SEATTLE -- The Washington Athletic Club and the WAC Handball Club hosted a one-day professional handball tournament, Saturday, Sept. 10, featuring 4 of the Top 10 players in the world: Sean Lenning (#2), Mando Ortiz (#3), Emmett Peixoto (#6) and Luis Cordova (#9).  Almost $1,500 was raised at the event which benefited the Seattle Children's Hospital.  Ortiz defeated Cordova in the final with a convincing 15-7 and 15-8 victory. 
 
The event was a big success in terms of the handball talent, competition on the court and fundraising towards a great cause!  Sean Lenning, coming off of his slam at the Three-Wall Nationals, gave a great performance in spite of a sore shoulder.  Cordova played great ball, beating Lenning in the first match before running into a buzz-saw in Ortiz in the finals.  The event was owned by Ortiz who played lights-out in both of his matches, shooting the ball with both hands from everywhere on the court.  The match of the event was definitely the match-up of Ortiz and Peixoto in the opening round.  Ortiz won a tight first game contest 15-12 only to get thumped in the second to Peixoto, 15-4.  The tiebreaker (win by two) was nothing short of amazing, as both players played neck-and-neck before Ortiz pulled out the 16-14 triumph. 

Without question, the doubles game that was played after the singles final was spectacular.  The crowd loved the action with all the exciting kills, thrilling gets and re-kills which brought most of them out of their seats cheering.  At the end, the crowd showed their appreciation for the awesome doubles exhibition. This year marked improved attendance, and the WAC plans to host a bigger and better event next year.
 
Admission to the matches was a donation of $25 (or more), with 100% of the proceeds going to Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Checks payable to Seattle Children’s Hospital or cash will be accepted–no credit cards.  Players will be available Saturday evening for a no-host get together down at Hagerty’s on the 2nd floor of the WAC.  Pro Handball at the WAC begins at 12:00 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 10!  All are welcome. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions. 
 
Read the press release for the Washington Athletic Club's WPH Pre-Race Invitational and Benefit HERE.
Thanks to Randy Multack for contributing to this story.  Photo courtesy of the Washington Athletic Club. 
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9th Annual USHA Wallball National Championships

CONEY ISLAND, N.Y. -- Tywan Cook showed the fans who crowded the Asser Levy Park handball courts that he wasn’t about to relinquish his crown on Sunday.  Just a year removed from winning his first USHA National Singles title, Cook defended his title with an impressive victory over rising talent Kadeem Bush, 25-19 then paired with Carlin Rosa to defeat Timbo Gonzalez and Allan Sanchez 25-16 to complete the slam. 

All finalists dazzled the crowd with extended rallies, emphatic kills and great sportsmanship throughout their matches. 

George Figueroa defeated Ray Lopez for the Men's 40-Plus title.  Boris Piker won both the Men's B Singles and Open Singles crowns.  Adam Gittlitz won the Men's C Drop-down over Teodoro Garcia. 

Jonathan Davila and Christian Guzman won the Men's B Doubles, defeating Mohamad Mansi and Manny Sanchez.  

Karen McConney won the Women's Pro Singles title, defeating Veronica Figueroa. 

Mel Sky and Jessica Santiago took the Women's Pro Doubles by defeating Veronica Figueroa and Quasia Watson in Round Robin competition. 

A Special "Thank You" goes to Alethia Mendez, William Polanco, Jared Vale, Glenn Hall, Sophia Murphy-Barnes, Glenn Usher, Laurence DuBois, Carlos Centeno and everyone that stepped up to volunteer, referee or help out in any way throughout the weekend making the 9th USHA Wallball Championships a great event!   

See the final results and draws HERE.

 

 

 

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