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.
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.
Sean Lenning and Mando Ortiz met in the final for the third time in the last five Race 4 Eight events, with Lenning winning the previous two finals in Salt Lake City (2015) and Tucson (2015). Lenning cruised to the final with ease, winning all six games he played and never allowing any of his three opponents to score more than 10 points in any game. Ortiz entered Houston’s final in search of his first R48 title after losing in his first three trips to the finals. Ortiz defeated Paul Brady in Saturday’s semifinal in what instantly became recognized as the best match in the history of the R48 tour.
Mando Ortiz picked up where he left off in his semifinal win in the final, crushing Lenning 15-0 in just nine minutes to take a one-game lead. “Sean was just asleep in the first game and not making his serves or his shots,” Ortiz would later say. Lenning came to life in game two, finding his rhythm and his explosiveness to even the match at one game apiece.
The tiebreaker produced several dramatic momentum changes between two of the greatest offensive players in the history of the sport. Lenning raced to a 6-1 lead before Mando scored 11 of the next 12 points to seize control of the third frame. Ortiz would eventually lead 13-9, just two point from his first R48 title. Several long exchanges and multiple dives, floor timeouts, glove changes, and incredible shot making by Sean Lenning saw the score tied at 13, with Lenning two points from his sixth R48 title. A furious rally at 13-all revealed both player’s desperation to win the title, as each lunged and dove for multiple balls. Ortiz earned the side out and scored consecutive points to win his first R48 title.
“This is everything I’ve ever dreamed of,” revealed at emotional Ortiz on ESPN. “I know of all of the great mentors and champions that have come before me paved the way and I’m just so happy to be part of the club (of champions). Both my grandparents passed away this year and this is for them.”
Emmett Peixoto rebounded from his quarterfinal loss to Mando Ortiz to defeat Killian Carroll for the first time in the first round of the 5th place playoffs and clinched fifth by defeating Jonathan Iglesias. Luis Cordova dominated the 9th place playoffs, cruising past Daniel Cordova, David Fink, and Allan Garner. Tyler Stevens earned a R48 ranking for the first time by winning the 17th place playoffs, defeating Chicago’s Carlos Lemus in the final.
R48 Houston Finishes:
9th: L. Cordova
10th: Al. Garner
13th: Munson/D. Cordova/Bernhard/Hamel
Marcos Chavez and Tyler Hamel met for the third straight year in the SR48 Houston, with the pair splitting their previous two Houston encounters. Chavez defeated Hamel in the 2014 SR48 Houston final and Hamel defeating Chavez in the 2015 SR48 Houston semifinal. Chavez was in search of his sixth SR48 title, while Hamel was aiming fir his first.
Chavez quickly took control of the final, building a 15-5 halftime lead with a remarkable display of all-around handball. The Chavez express continued to roll in the second half, as Chavez applied pressure to cruise to his sixth SR48 title and retain his #1 SR48 ranking.
SR48 Houston Finishes:
To watch replays of the R48 and SR48 action from Houston, go to the Watch ESPN App (here).See the draws and results HERE.
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