NEWS

71st Annual George Lee Invitational

FT. WORTH, Texas -- In what has become the perennial tune-up for collegiate handball in the Southwest and neighboring regions, players from the University of Texas, Texas A&M and Missouri State joined top players from the region to go for the bottom board at the 71st Annual George Lee Invitational. 

Ten days before they compete as teammates at the Collegiate Nationals in Tempe, Arizona, Sunday’s open singles final pitted Missouri State’s Sam Esser against fellow bear Max Langmack. Looking to improve on his second place finish from the year before Esser outlasted Langmack his teammate to win in two games, 21-5, 21-15.  See the match here (https://youtu.be/dNj4SfsG8Ug) Esser later teamed up with Langmack to slam, edging out Dallas locals Jon Flynt and Jeff Wall in open doubles.

Missouri State’s prowess continued throughout the lower brackets with Jeremy Young winning the A-singles, Garrett Bacon taking the B-singles, and Ross Colyer defeating teammate Mike Noel in the C-singles. 

The collegiate women couldn’t overtake their veteran counterparts, as Teresa Bowman defeated Kayla Jones in 2 games to take the Women’s final. Other finals included Mike Sherburne defeating Jerry Garcia in 50+ singles, Frank Swehosky over Karl Stundins in the 60+ singles, and Roger Knudson outlasting Jimmy “Tag” Coolidge in the 70+ singles.

See the 71st George Lee Invitational brackets here:  https://www.bracketace.com/cgi-bin/brackets.pl?tid=108

The George Lee Invitational is also known for its technological displays. This year on display was the new video scoreboard powered by the Ace Referee app. If you have a ChromeCast and a couple of Android or iOS devices, you can try it for yourself and at your next tournament!

Jeff Wall, Southwest Region USHA Board Member, contributed to this report. 

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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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Bob & Sue Delaney Collegiate Scholarships

Bob & Sue Delaney with Vern Roberts

 

Once again, Bob and Sue Delaney are offering collegiate scholarships for youth handball players from Arizona and/or Illinois

Eligibility:  Any full-time collegiate handball players who are either attending school in Arizona or Illinois or grew up in either state and is an active handball player or playing in a college program.  The intent is to reward students with good academic records, and demonstrate financial need.

How to Apply: Applications may be submitted by individuals.  Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. a letter outlining current academic status and course work, GPA,  handball experience, and how the money would help further the applicant's education.  Any letters of recommendation from a handball or scholastic mentor are recommended. 

Application Deadline:  April 15th of each year
 
Past Delaney Scholarship Winners:

2015:  Matthew Chu (Lake Forest College)  Bennette Valdillez (Arizona State)
2016:  Josue Hernandez (Arizona State)
2017:  Ben Van Arsddale (University of Illinois)
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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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61st USHA National Junior Four-Wall Championships

TUCSON -- The Boy's 17-Under final was an international affair showcasing Canada's Michael Gaulton against Ireland's Kavan O'Keefe.  Gaulton delivered a flawless performance, winning the title in two games, 21-3, 21-10.  The champion put immense pressure on O'Keefe, executing steady high-percentage shots while closing the door on many rallies with impressive kills.  Ever since his first juniors, Gaulton has steadily improved and will be a top contender for next year's 19-Unders.  
  Luis Bustos helped Anthony Sullivan slam the Boys 19 Division with a dominant win over Austin Biddle and Michael Gaulton, 21-6, 21-11.
  Lorcan McBride became the first juniors player ever to win three events at a Nationals.  McBride won the 15-Under Doubles with partner Michael Kiely, defeating David Sanchez and Ray Ure, 21-7, 21-4.  McBride won the 15-Under Small Ball and 15-Under Big Ball titles earlier in the week. 
  The Kate Conlon/Kurt Johansson Most Improved Award, The Tom Lynch Newcomer Award and The Vince Gabriele Jr. Sportsmanship Award were presented at the Juniors Awards Banquet on Thursday night.  Patrick Cooke (center) was presented the Most Improved Award.  Lorcan McBride (left) was given the Newcomer Award,  and Josh Webster (right) was presented with the Sportsmanship Award.   Carlos Espinoza, Pedro Murillo and Austin Biddle were recognized as Junior Alumni players (19-Under players that have played in at least four Junior Nationals) and were given Junior Alumni gym bags.  
  See final results, draws and scores HERE.
 
 
Thursday's matches in the 61st National Junior Four-Wall Championships produced some of the best handball and highest drama.  In Boy's 19-Under action, Anthony Sullivan fought off match point to force a tiebreaker against Coleman McGrath in the championship final.  The two players from the Bay Area played the third set tight for most of the duration, with McGrath holding an early 2-1 lead before Sullivan stormed back to hold a 5-3 advantage.   Locked at 7-7, Sullivan made key shots down the stretch for an improbable comeback win, 7-21, 21-20, 11-9.  
  "I'm glad it went to a tiebreaker, obviously," said Sullivan.  Sullivan saw a big lead evaporate in the second game which turned into a match point opportunity for McGrath.  "He got hot and was on a roll.  We played close the rest of the way, and I was fortunate to come out on top."   
  Kena Byrd-Jackson of Tucson won the Girl's 15/17-Under crown over Marisol Maldonado, 21-1, 21-8. 
  In the 13-Under final, David Sanchez of Stockton, CA stopped Tucson's Andres Maldonado in two games,  21-5, 21-8. 
  Lorcan McBride of Corrickmore, Co. Tyrone, Ireland was the class of the Boy's 15-Under field.  McBride dominated the bracket and defeated Chicago's Ray Ure in the final, 21-5, 21-3.  
  "Wow." an exasperated Ure exclaimed.  "I was making some shots and didn't play that bad--[McBride] is just that good." 
  Team Lattof teammates Irena Hong and Rimata Halabi faced off for the Girls 13-Under title with Hong edging Halabi 21-10, 21-19. 
  In the youngest age division, Andres Cordova was looking at a 6-10 deficit against Team Juarez teammate Eder Reneteria in the Boys 11-Under final.  Cordova took back the serve to start an improbable comeback to win, 21-17, 15-21, 11-10.     
  See Thursday's results and the updated draws HERE.
 
2017 National Juniors Drop-Down Results:
19 A Semifinals: Carlos Espinoza d. Rory Rakochey, (19), 11, 5; Austin Biddle d. Pedro Murrillo, 9, 12.
Final: Biddle d. Espinoza, 14, (11) 4.
19 B First Round: Bryan Pacheco bye; Christian Solis d. Julian Aviles Figueiredo; Greg Cameron d. Julian Rivera, (10), 18, 1; Danny Romero d. Jimmy Connolly, 3, 1.
Semifinals: Pacheco d. Solis, 18, 10; Romero d. G. Cameron, 6, 9.
Final: Pacheco d. Romero, 7, 7.
19 Cons. Semifinals: J.A. Figueuerida bye; Rivera d. Connolly, 9, 17.
Final: Rivera d. Figueuerida, 7, (12), 4.

17 A Quarterfinals: Esteban Camacho d. Ben Flynn, 7, 10; Jake Cervantes d. Jake Moore, def.; Adam Clark d. Sam Ure, 8, 8; Sam Richer d. Noe Rios, 12, 11.
Semifinals: Camacho d. Cervantes, 11, (12), 2; Clark d. Richer, 13, (18), 6.
Final: Clark d. Camacho, (11), 8, 8.
17 B: First Round: Carlos Castillo d. Alejandro Sandoval, 14, 10; Sam Brekke d. Danny Connolly, 0, 1.
Quarterfinals: Aron Cameron d. Angel Mariscal, (17), 10, 3; Nicholas Roberts d. John Silva, 20, 17; Vince Fork d. Castillo, 20, (13), 6; Ruaric Cusack d. Brekke, 14, 5.
Semifinals: Roberts d. Cameron, 7, 13; Cusack d. Ford, 4, 8.
Final: Roberts d. Cusack, (14), 14, 10.
17 Cons. First Round: Castillo d. Mariscal, 2, (20), 0; Sandoval d. Brekke, 13, 10; Silva d. D. Connolly, 2, 2.
Semifinals: Castillo d. A. Cameron, 2, 5; Sandoval d. Silva, def.
Final: Castillo d. Sandoval, 19, 4.
 
15 A Semifinals: Guillaume Chouinard d. Carter Rakochey, 8, 1; Collin Peters d. Oisin Hallahan, 17, (7), 10.
Final: Chouinard d. Peters, 14, 9.
15 B Quarterfinals: Jamie Moylan bye; Josh Webster d. Diego Hernandez; Isaac Rios d. Johnny Cooke, 16, 2; Jessie Davis d. John Franks, 6, (5), 5.
Semifinals: Moylan d. Webster, 9, 3; Davis d. Rios, 10, 7.
Final: Davis d. Moylan, (15), 18, 8.
15 Cons. Semifinals: Webster d. Hernandez, 2, 2; Franks d. Cooke, 11, 11.
Final: Franks d. Webster, 7, (14), 5.
 
13 A Final: N. Stoffel d. Z. Wells, (14), 15, 5.
13 B Semifinals: Abraham Sanchez d. Jensen Payton, 2, 8; Young Tang d. Colton Stout, 0, 3.
Final: Tang d. Sanchez, 13, 17.
13 Cons.: Payton d. Stout, 3, 6.
 
11 Small Ball A: L. Wells d. A. Brule, def.
11 Small Ball B: Vincent Stodola d. Alexis Cruz, 1, 0; Andres Araiza d. Antonio Rivera, 0, 2; Rene Sosa d. Gabriel Orozco, 7, 15; Angel Araiza d. Robt. Martin, 2, 0.
Semifinals: Rivera d. Stodola, 9, 0; Angel Araiza d. Sosa, 11, 3.
Final: Araiza d. Rivera, 5, 17.
11 Small Ball Cons. Semifinals: Andres Araiza d. Alexis Cruz; 6, 8; G. Orozco d. Robt. Martin, 3, 4.
Final:  Orozco d. Arazia, 16, 8.
11 Big Ball A: Angel Araiza d. Antonio Rivera, 8, (18), 9.
11 Big Ball B Semifinals: Rene Sosa d. Andres Araiza, 11, 2; Gabriel Orozco d. Alexis Cruz, 8, 9.
Final: Sosa d. Orozco, 0, 13.
11 Big Ball Cons.: Andres Araiza d. Cruz, 13, 11.
 
Girls 15/17 A: Belisa Camacho d. S. Della Croce, 15, (7) 4.
Girls 15/17 B First Round: Irena Hong d. Cassie Hanselman, 11, 3.
Semifinals: R. Halabi d. I. Hong, 5, (18), 10; A. Pena d. A. Hernandez, 9, 19.
Girls 15/17 B Final:  R. Halabi d. A. Pena, 13, 0.
Girls 15/17 Cons.: Hanselman d. A. Hernandez, 1, 15.

       
WEDNESDAY (Dec. 28)

TUCSON -- Andres Cordova grew up watching his dad and brothers play and win handball tournaments.  Playing in his first juniors at the 61st National Junior Four-Wall Championships, the youngest of the Cordova family from Juarez, Mexico put the handball world on notice, winning the Boys 11-Under Big Ball singles over Tucson's Ayden Brule, 21-9, 21-13.  The young lefty utilized an impressive combination of power and control, forcing Brule to use his off-hand deep in the court and on defense.  When asked how long he's been playing handball, Cordova quickly replied, "All my life."
   Cordova will play Team Juarez teammate Eder Renteria in tomorrow's 11-Under Small Ball final at Noon (Mountain Time).
   It's an All-NorCal Boys 19-Under final as top-seeded Anthony Sullivan (San Jose) will face Coleman McGrath (San Francisco) in tomorrow's final at Noon. 
   Action continues tonight with doubles competition.  The Juniors Awards Banquet will take place tomorrow at La Quinta Reid Park at 7 p.m.
   See Wednesday's results and the updated draws HERE.
  
TUESDAY (Dec. 27)
TUCSON -- The second day of the 61st National Junior Four-Wall Championships brought a full slate of small ball matches for every age division.  All top seeds advanced in first round play with the rest of singles action finishing up in the evening.  Snow and cancelled flights couldn’t keep top-seed Michael Gaulton from getting to Tucson from Canada.  Fortunately, Gaulton had a first-round bye and won his first match over Ben Flynn from Co. Waterford Ireland in the round of 16.    
     In the Boy’s 19-Under singles, last year’s runner-up and number one seed Anthony Sullivan advanced over Calgary’s Rory Rackochey in quarterfinal action. 
     In the photo:  Oison Hallahan (Co. Waterford, IRE) winds up for a shot against Johnny Cooke (Oak Forest, IL) in 15-Under action. 
    See the updated draws and start times HERE.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MONDAY (Dec. 26)
TUCSON -- Juniors arrived in the Old Pueblo to kick off the 61st National Junior Four-Wall Championships at the Tucson Racquet & Fitness Club.  Players jumped on the court as Big Ball singles competition began in the early afternoon and lasted until the early evening.  All small ball divisions begin tomorrow with play starting at 9 a.m.
    The highlight of the day for the juniors was a Pro Clinic where players learned shot anticipation, serve, return of serve, defense and offense.  WPH Race4Eight Pros Dave Fink, Sean Lenning, Abe Montijo were joined by USHA Executive Director Vern Roberts as each hosted various station workshops. 
    "When I played in the Juniors, we never had anything like this," said WPH's Development Director Dave Fink.  "The kids really enjoyed it, and I hope this is something that can be offered every year."
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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 Milwaukee Classic

 
WEST ALLIS, Wisc. -- The path to the 2016 Milwaukee Classic Men's Open title was a rocky one for Sean Lenning.  But once he reached the final, the battle-tested veteran defeated defending champion Luis Moreno, 21-14, 21-18.  The top-seeded Moreno cruised to victories in earlier rounds while Lenning was pushed to tiebreakers by Minnesota's Ryan Pesch and Wisconsin's Anthony Selestow in the their quarterfinal and semifinal matches respectively. 
    Based on their performances up to Sunday's match, it seemed Moreno would once again defeat Lenning in Milwaukee.  Moreno built an early 9-0 lead forcing Lenning to burn a time out.  Once play resumed, Lenning found his groove and outscored Moreno 21-5 to close out game one.  In the second, Lenning's hot hand continued and he catapulted to a 20-11 lead over to Moreno only to watch it evaporate to 20-18 as Moreno caught fire.  Once again, a time out (glove change) helped Lenning settle in, where he score the remaining two points for the win. 
    Vic Perez and Nikolai Nahorniak defeated Dave and Mike Munson to win the Men's Open Doubles, 21-17, 21-16. 
    Aimee Ulbert won the Women's Open Singles title by defeating Hilary Rushe 21-16, 21-3 in round robin play. 
    Once again, Charlie Keller, Jeff Werstein and the rest of Milwaukee Handball crew hosted another tremendous Milwaukee Classic. 
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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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