FRIDLEY, Minnesota -- Catriona Casey captured her third Women's Open title with a convincing win over Cianna Ni Churraoin, 21-5, 21-0. It was a bittersweet moment for Casey to face her doubles partner and friend who suffered an ankle injury towards the end of the first game. Although Ni Churraoin was able to finish the match, she was a shell of the player who pushed Catriona for two games in last month's WPH Players Championships in Portland.
In Men's Doubles action, Marcos Chavez and Sean Lenning defended their doubles title against the newly formed team of Andy Nett and Martin Mulkerrins, 21-12 and 21-17. While the champions controlled leads through both games, Nett and Mulkerrins didn't back down, briefly tying score in the second game through Nett's streaking serves and Mulkerrins' solid play. An avoidable hinder against the challengers halted any momentum as Lenning and Chavez sealed their second consecutive Four-Wall Doubles crown.
See final draws/results HERE.
Killian Carroll and Paul Brady played one of the most memorable USHA National Four-Wall finals in history on Saturday ending with Carroll closing the door to Brady's 10-year undefeated streak to win his first title (6), 17, 10.
"It just feels surreal at this point." said the newly crowned champ.
It didn't appear that Carroll would have much of a chance early on, as Brady blitzed the youngster from Cork in the first game. An early 20-2 lead foreshadowed Carroll's doom, but Carroll didn't relinquish game point, scoring four more points to show some life and build confidence at the end of the first game. Once the second game started, Carroll imposed his will on the defending champ, building sizable leads only to see Brady come back to take a 17-16 edge. Getting the side out, Carroll scored five unanswered points to force the tiebreaker.
Brady started with the serve in the tiebreaker and took control early leading 4-2, but Carroll never let his opponent build any more than a 2-point lead. The two players were knotted at 8-8 when Brady scored two more points to be on the cusp of his 11th title. But Carroll denied the historic moment, winning a long rally to regain the serve. Two quick points had Carroll on the edge of his first title and the packed gallery on the edge of their seats with the score tied 10-10. As his did so many times during the match, Carroll finished a rally with a flat kill to seal his first title.
In a post-match interview, Brady reflected, "I'll take the summer off, but I definitely don't want this to be my last match."
In women's open action, defending champion Catriona Casey dropped Aoife McCarthy in two games and will face Ciana Ni Churraoin for the title Sunday morning. Ni Churraoin advanced to the final with a two-game win over Jessica Gawley.
Watch the action on the WPH Live Webcast at www.race4eight.com. The Women's Open final coverage begins Sunday, June 19, 10 a.m. Central.
Brought to you by Southern California Handball Association
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. --Mark Zamora (setting up in his first final) was one of two players to win two on Sunday. Zamora teamed with Jesse Pasos (background) and John Robles to win the 50 and 45 titles. Robles was the other player to win two, taking the 45 and 50 events.
Final results HERE.
PORTLAND -- The Irish continued to make their mark on this side of the Atlantic with big wins in the Masters and R48 events. Killian Carroll earned the title over Sean Lenning after upsetting Paul Brady on Saturday night. Catriona Casey was almost perfect in her final win over Aisling Reilly and Gavin Buggy beat Marcos Chavez for the USHA 40-plus and WPH Senior R48 title.
Newcomer Eamon O'Leary was the best in the 35s beating Fred Schoener in the final. John Robles, Arturo Saurez and Dan Murphy were the other 40 and 50 winners. Dave Steinberg kept the 60s in Portland while Ed Campbell repeated in the 65s. Jim Ward took the 70s and Mike Driscoll earned the 75 in a tiebreaker over Ed Grossenbacher. Charlie Wicker took the 80 and newest Grand Masters Joe Lenhart added to his title cache with the first ever 85s held at the Masters Invite.
See the results and draws on the R2Sports.com website for the USHA Masters Singles & WPH R48Pro V Player's Championship HERE.
Watch the WPH Live R48Pro V Player's Championship replay on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App!
Upper right photo show the Gregory Gym show court from 2010 Four-Wall National Men's Open Singles final.
(photos by Keith Thode)
TUCSON -- Luis Moreno looked strong against Sean Lenning in two games winning the Men's Open singles, 21-16, 21-3. A couple of local high school athletes battled for the women's crown. Sahuaro High School's (Tucson) Kena Byrd-Jackson won the Women's singles over Marisa Maldonado of Salpointe Catholic.
Kena also sang the star spangled banner at Saturday's banquet. Marine Corps Honor Guard is her back up. Vince San Angelo, a retired US Marine and tournament director, also gave a memorable talk on the meaning of Memorial Day.
See the 2016 Armed Forces Tribute Tournament results HERE.
TUCSON -- David Fink upset Sean Lenning in the final of the Open Singles in a strong tiebreaker performance. The Felix brothers, Omar and Raul, took the Open doubles. The Open players thanked sponsors for the prize money and Sportsmanship Award winner Frank Hernandez said: "I always enjoy coming here."
It was a great weekend of competition and camaraderie as the spirit of handball was on display in all the evenly contested fields. There was a big contingent of Fred Lewis Foundation Juniors showing the good future in Tucson.
CONEY ISLAND -- After a 10-year break, the Inner City Handball Association revived the USHA/ICHA Junior One-Wall Nationals. Returning the Asser Levy Park's Seaside Courts, 60 juniors participated in the two-day event which offered skill division and drop-down play.
Final draws and results can be viewed HERE.
NEW YORK -- The anticipation for a Paul Brady vs. Armando Ortiz rematch reached a fever-pitch leading up to the WPH R48Pro V NYAC Stop. Could Ortiz maintain his form from Houston? Was Brady finally starting to show his age after dominating for more than a decade? Those questions and more were answered by the five-time world champion who served his way to impressive victory over Ortiz in the WPH Pro final 15-11 and 15-5.
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